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European Business Deutsche facing questions from multiple authorities about Danske money-laundering scheme

A Deutsche Bank logo at the company's headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany.

Ralph Orlowski/Reuters

Deutsche Bank said on Wednesday it had received requests for information from regulators and law enforcement agencies around the world that are investigating a money laundering scheme involving Danske Bank.

The statement came in response to a Bloomberg report that said the U.S. Federal Reserve was investigating Deutsche Bank’s role in the Danske scandal.

Deutsche Bank said in a statement that there were no probes. “But we received several requests for information from regulators and law enforcement agencies around the world,” it said. The bank also said it continued to provide information to and co-operate with the investigating agencies.

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“It is not surprising at all that the investigating authorities and banks themselves have an interest in the Danske case and the lessons to be learned from it,” Deutsche Bank said.

The Fed’s probe is at an early stage, Bloomberg said, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter.

The U.S. central bank is investigating whether Deutsche Bank in New York properly monitored the transfer of funds it performed on behalf of Danske from its Estonia branch, the report added.

A spokesman for the Federal Reserve declined to comment.

Deutsche Chief Executive Christian Sewing said last week that the bank was investigating the Danske case internally and that it had no indication of any misconduct on the bank’s part.

Danske is under investigation for suspicious payments totalling 200 billion euros ($227 billion) from 2007 until 2015. Deutsche Bank has said it acted as a correspondent bank for Dankse Bank in Estonia.

A Deutsche Bank executive director has said the German bank played only a secondary role as a correspondent bank to Danske, limiting what it needed to know about the people behind the transactions.

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In 2017, the Fed was among regulators that fined Deutsche Bank nearly $700 million for weak controls that allowed money laundering from Russia. A U.S. Department of Justice investigation into the case is still ongoing.

In November, police searched the offices of all the members of Deutsche Bank’s board as part of a two-day raid and investigation into money laundering allegations linked to the Panama Papers.

Deutsche Bank has said it had no indication of misconduct in this case.

In September, German regulator BaFin ordered Deutsche Bank to do more to prevent money laundering and appointed accounting firm KPMG as a third party to assess progress.

Deutsche shares recouped earlier losses to trade up 0.1 per cent late afternoon in Frankfurt, roughly in line with Germany’s DAX index, which was up 0.2 per cent.

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