Deutsche Bank reportedly being investigated by U.S. over money laundering
Deutsche Bank is being investigated by U.S. federal authorities for potential lapses in money laundering compliance, The New York Times reported, citing unidentified people with knowledge of the inquiry.
The investigations come at a particularly sensitive time for the bank as it seeks to restore investor confidence after failed talks on a merger with Commerzbank. The share price is hovering near a record low and there's the prospect of further changes to top management as Chief Executive Christian Sewing prepares to unveil his second turnaround plan next month.
The probe includes a review into how the troubled German lender dealt with so-called suspicious activity reports about problematic transactions, according to the paper. Some were linked to President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, the newspaper cited the people as saying. A Deutsche Bank whistleblower had flagged suspicious transactions involving Kushner's family company in 2016, but bank managers decided not to file her suspicious activity report, it said.
Deutsche Bank fell about 0.3% in early Frankfurt trading and have declined about 7.2% this year.
The probe into Deutsche Bank — which the newspaper said is a criminal investigation — is one element of several overlapping examinations into illicit funds flowing through the U.S. financial system, the Times said. Other banks are also being investigated, the newspaper reported, without identifying them. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been in touch with the lawyer for the whistleblower.
The broader scope of the investigations and many details of precisely what is under scrutiny are unclear, and it is not known whether the inquiries will result in criminal charges, the New York Times reported. In addition to the FBI, the Justice Department's Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section in Washington and the United States attorney's offices in Manhattan and Brooklyn are conducting the investigations. Deutsche Bank has said that it's cooperating with government probes.
Two U.S. House committees have subpoenaed Deutsche Bank for record related to President Trump and his family. The Justice Department has been investigating the lender since 2015, when agents were looking into its role in a scheme that laundered billions of dollars for wealthy Russians.