Published: Fri, November 30, 2018
Markets | By Jeffery Armstrong

Deutsche Bank offices searched in Panama Papers probe

Deutsche Bank offices searched in Panama Papers probe

Deutsche Bank AG's premises, including its headquarters in Frankfurt were being searched by prosecutors on Thursday in a money laundering probe, prosecutors said in a statement.

Speaking about the latest investigation, a Deutsche Bank spokesman said: 'Of course, we will cooperate closely with the public prosecutor's office in Frankfurt, as it is in our interest as well to clarify the facts'.

Niesen said the analysis of the Panama Papers and other documents "gave rise to suspicion that Deutsche Bank was helping clients set up so-called offshore companies in tax havens and the proceeds of crimes were transferred there from Deutsche Bank accounts" without the bank reporting it. More details will be communicated as soon as these become known.

Deutsche Bank (DB), which the publication notes has spent $18 billion on "fines and legal disputes" over the past ten years, reportedly has multiple links to the Panama Papers scandal.

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The German lender may have helped clients in setting up offshore companies in tax havens.

As part of Sewing's restructuring effort, Deutsche Bank said it would cut up to 10,000 jobs - a full 10% of its staff, the Wall Street Journal reported in May.

The timing of the raid inflicts more pain on Deutsche Bank after a series of setbacks and repeated failures in keeping misconduct in check have pushed the shares to all-time lows.

Bank officials say the company is cooperating with investigators.

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The latest raid is a new blow to Deutsche Bank, which has been hammered by a string of scandals linked to its pre-2008 crisis attempts to compete with Wall Street investment banking giants.

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The bank has been scrutinized for alleged money laundering for years now. "Germany owes to the world to clamp down on this dark side of its economy". Regulators fined it $630 million in 2017 over an illegal scheme with Russian Federation. "As far as we are concerned, we have already provided the authorities with all the relevant information regarding Panama Papers".

Analysts say that because these transactions can be lucrative, banks have few incentives to do more than the minimum required by law to check on the identity of a bank.

Among recent cases were the Netherlands' Rabobank and Denmark's Danske Bank, the latter infamously laundering more funds than cryptocurrency's entire market cap.

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The bank said at the end of October that it expected to report a net profit for the first time since 2014, not least because no legal settlements in the hundreds of millions or even billions were on the horizon as in previous years.

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