Deutsche Financial institution to pay $125 million to settle U.S. probes into abroad bribes, buying and selling practices

Christian Sewing, CEO of Deutsche Bank AG, is taking a break as Germany’s largest bank announces its results for the full year in Frankfurt on Friday. February 1, 2019. Deutsche Bank revenues fell for the eighth year in a row in the last few months of last year, making it difficult for Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewings to reverse the lender by cutting costs. Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Krisztian Bocsi | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Deutsche Bank has agreed to pay approximately $ 125 million to resolve a separate U.S. investigation into allegations that it paid bribes to secure business overseas and manipulated metal markets, according to a person with direct knowledge of business.

As part of the settlement, the bank, a global capital market player and Germany’s largest lender, signed a three-year agreement to defer prosecution. This emerges from a copy of the documents filed in federal court in Brooklyn on Friday.

Almost the entire dollar value of the penalties due to be announced Friday is related to claims that Deutsche Bank employees violated the Foreign Corruption Practices Act with business in China, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia and Italy, according to the Identified person who declined to speak about regulatory issues.

This equates to approximately $ 123 million in fines paid to the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission. The bank is also paying $ 1.9 million to the DOJ associated with spoofing the metal markets. This number gives the bank credit for an earlier settlement with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

“Deutsche Bank has launched criminal proceedings to conceal payments to so-called advisors around the world that served as bribes to foreign officials and others so they could get and keep unjustifiably lucrative business projects,” said acting US attorney Seth DuCharme, in a statement. “This office will continue to hold responsible financial institutions operating in the United States and using criminal facilitation practices in order to increase their bottom line.”

The news is the latest recognition of poor controls at Deutsche Bank since the 2008 financial crisis. In 2015, the bank agreed to pay $ 2.5 billion for fees. She was part of a network of banks that manipulated the global Libor rate. In 2017, the company agreed to a $ 7.2 billion deal for its role in creating acidic mortgage bonds during the housing bubble.

More recently, Deutsche Bank paid the New York authorities $ 150 million in July, and CEO Christian Sewing admitted his firm should never have accepted child trafficker Jeffrey Epstein as a customer in 2013.

Deutsche Bank has given bribes and expensive gifts to politically affiliated people in China, according to a 2019 New York Times report.

Bank spokesman Dan Hunter said the company had taken “significant” steps to address the issues, including spending more than 1 billion euros ($ 1.22 billion) on controls and training.

“While we cannot comment on the details of the resolutions, we accept responsibility for these earlier actions that took place between 2008 and 2017,” the bank said. “Our thorough internal investigations and our full cooperation with the DOJ and SEC investigations into these matters reflect our transparency and determination to set these matters firmly in the past.”

The deal is also the last banking deal to be announced in the final days of the Trump presidency. Deutsche Bank has been Donald Trump’s primary lender for the past two decades and currently owes the institution more than $ 300 million, the Times reported.

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