Deutsche Bank will pay $55 million to settle U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission claims that it misrepresented the value of derivatives during the financial crisis, materially misstating its accounts.
"Deutsche Bank's financial statements did not reflect the significant risk in these large, complex illiquid positions," Andrew Ceresney, director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement, said in a statement. "Deutsche Bank failed to make reasonable judgments when valuing its positions and lacked robust internal controls over financial reporting."
The transactions came under scrutiny in 2012 after a former employee alleged Deutsche Bank had misrepresented the value of derivatives on a $130 billion portfolio to mask paper losses during the financial crisis, helping it avoid state aid. The company previously denied the allegations, which related to a group of collateralized insurance agreements that protected against the risk of corporate defaults.
Deutsche Bank, which didn't admit or deny any charges in the settlement announced Tuesday, is fully reserved for the penalty.
Germany's biggest lender said it has been exiting the positions at issue over the past several years and has reduced the notional value by almost 95 percent. The bank has also bolstered its internal controls over how it values illiquid assets, the company said in a statement.
Deutsche Bank failed U.S. stress tests this year and its capital plan for the U.S. unit was rejected over deficiencies across risk-identification and measurement.