Deutsche Bank failing to limit crimes; says watchdog

Deutsche Bank has not done enough to prevent its accounts from being misused to launder money, circumvent international sanctions or even finance terrorism, the UK’s financial regulatory agency has found.
The British branch of Germany’s largest lender has “serious” and “systemic” shortcomings in its controls against those three kinds of illegal activity, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said Monday, according to a letter seen a day earlier by the Financial Times newspaper.

“Our overall conclusion was that DB UK had serious AML (anti-money laundering), terrorist financing and sanctions failings which were systemic in nature,” the FT quoted the letter as saying.

The damning claim was made after the FCA spent a year conducting an in-depth evaluation of 14 large banks, including Deutsche. The regulators said the bank had also failed to impress due to missing documents, a lack of transaction monitoring and inappropriate pressure being put on employees to take on certain clients, the FT said.

“Effective senior management engagement and leadership on financial crime had been lacking for a considerable period of time,” the letter continued.

The FCA did acknowledge that Deutsche Bank has been at pains since last year to clean up its act. The bank’s new co-chief executive, John Cryan, has told employees no business would be done with clients in some countries until the bank’s vetting process has been revamped.

The FCA’s findings were the latest blow to Deutsche Bank, which made headlines last week after the man charged with clearing up past scandals at the bank resigned following an unusually public spat between members of the supervisory board over his tenacity.

Source: dpa, Reuters