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Deutsche Bank Fined For $10 Billion Russian Money-Laundering Scheme

Deutsche Bank Fined For $10 Billion Russian Money-Laundering Scheme

By Pathay Singh

The big fines keep coming for Deutsche Bank.

The giant German lender was hit with about $630 million in penalties on Tuesday over a $10 billion Russian money-laundering scheme that involved its Moscow, New York and London branches.

It follows a $7.2 billion settlement Deutsche Bank reached with the U.S. Department of Justice last month over toxic mortgage assets and the $2.5 billion it agreed to pay in 2015 over interest rate manipulation.

The latest fines penalize Deutsche Bank's failure to deal with a stock-trading scheme that enabled some of its clients in Russia to improperly move huge sums of money out of the country and into offshore accounts, according to regulators.

"The bank missed numerous opportunities to detect, investigate and stop the scheme due to extensive compliance failures, allowing the scheme to continue for years," the New York State Department of Financial Services said in a statement.

Deutsche Bank was fined $425 million by the New York agency and £163 million ($204 million) by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority.

"The failings of Deutsche Bank are simply unacceptable," said Mark Steward, the U.K. authority's director of enforcement. It said the way billions of dollars were transferred into overseas bank accounts in places like Cyprus, Estonia and Latvia was "highly suggestive of financial crime."

Under the U.S. settlement, the German lender will have to bring in an independent monitor to review how it handles banking secrecy and anti-money laundering rules.

Deutsche Bank said in a statement that it already has the latest U.S. and U.K. penalties covered in reserves it has set aside for legal bills.

Fears over whether the bank had enough money to pay its mounting fines from regulators escalated dramatically in September.

The original U.S. Justice Department demand for a $14 billion settlement over the toxic mortgage assets prompted Deutsche Bank shares to plunge to their lowest level in over 20 years. The stock has rebounded strongly since then as those worries eased, but it's still down around 15% since the start of last year.

Deutsche Bank said that it's still cooperating with other investigations by regulators and law enforcement agencies into the Russian trades.

The German lender said in September 2015 that it was closing its investment banking business in Russia and would in future work with Russian corporate clients from abroad.

Souce: NBC2


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