The financial regulator has fined Deutsche Bank a record £163 million for failing to maintain adequate controls against money laundering and exposing the UK to the risk of financial crime.
The Financial Conduct Authority said that the bank helped to transfer about $10 billion from Russia to offshore bank accounts in a way that was “highly suggestive of financial crime”.
The fine is the largest penalty for anti-money laundering failings ever imposed by the regulator.
Mark Steward, director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA, said: “Financial crime is a risk to the UK financial system. Deutsche Bank was obliged to establish and maintain an effective anti-money laundering control framework. By failing to do so, Deutsche Bank exposed the UK to the risk of financial crime.”
He said that the size of the fine reflected the seriousness of Deutsche Bank’s failings. “We have repeatedly told firms how to comply with our anti-money laundering requirements and the failings of Deutsche Bank are simply unacceptable,” Mr Steward said.
The failings allowed the front office of Deutsche Bank’s Russia-based subsidiary, DB Moscow, to execute more than 2,400 pairs of trades that mirrored each other between April 2012 and October 2014.
These mirror trades were used by customers of Deutsche Bank and DB Moscow to transfer more than $6 billion from Russia, through Deutsche Bank in the UK, to overseas bank accounts, including in Cyprus, Estonia and Latvia.
The FCA said that the purpose of the mirror trades was the conversion of roubles into dollars and the covert transfer of those funds out of Russia, which was highly suggestive of financial crime.
Deutsche Bank has also settled with US regulators over the failings. New York authorities fined the bank $425m.