Just two days after Deutsche Bank fired the head of its “integrity committee”, Georg Thoma who had been originally tasked with clearing up the bank’s past scandals, because according to DB’s vice chairman Alfred Herling, Thoma had been “overzealous” and “goes too far when he demands ever wider investigations and more and more lawyers come marching up”, today the UK financial watchdog agency FCA announced that Germany’s biggest bank has “serious” and “systemic” failings in its controls against money laundering, terrorist financing and sanctions, the Financial Times reported.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has now ordered a separate independent review, the FT reported the letter as saying. The FCA declined to comment.
In other words instad of firing it “Chief Ethics Officer” (sic), Deutsche should have ideally hired a few more because as a result of this latest probe it is most likely looking at billions more in settlement charges over the next 6 – 12 months.
“Our overall conclusion was that Deutsche Bank UK had serious AML (anti-money laundering), terrorist financing and sanctions failings which were systemic in nature,” the FCA letter, dated March 2, reportedly said.
“Effective senior management engagement and leadership on financial crime had been lacking for a considerable period of time.” And where there is effective senior management, the board makes sure to get rid of said management, because if it actually followed the law how could this megabank ever make money in Europe’s monetary twilight zone.
Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank said it is cooperating with regulators to fundamentally reform its anti-financial crime program.
“We understand the importance of this issue and are committed to and engaged in fixing it”, a company spokesman said in an emailed statement on Sunday.
This is only the latest brush-up between DB and the FCA: in late 2014, the UK regulator put Deutsche Bank’s London office under enhanced supervision owing to concern about the bank’s governance and controls. Enhanced supervision procedures are normally kept private and can follow fines. Following its review, Reuters reports, the FCA ordered a so-called skilled persons report – also called a Section 166 report – to assess remedial work Deutsche must now carry out.
Deutsche Bank’s new chief executive, John Cryan, who took over in July, has embarked on a deep restructuring of the bank, which includes an overhaul of governance procedures.
Cryan announced in November a review of its know-your-client mechanisms and its vetting procedures when taking on new clients. It has also suspended taking on new customers from 109 countries which it has defined as high risk, compared with 30 countries it had earlier classified as too risky.
The report on the FCA letter comes not only days after the abovementioned acrimonious public squabble among members of Deutsche Bank’s supervisory board and the ejection of the man heading the supervisory board’s Integrity Committee, but also just weeks after Deutsche became the first bank to settle and admit to charges that it had manipulated the gold market, and had also agreed to expose other gold manipulation cartel members.
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