US authorities have begun settlement talks with Germany’s Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank over their dealings with countries blacklisted by the United States, extending a crackdown on European banks at a delicate point in US-German relations.
The talks, with state and federal authorities, came after BNP Paribas’ record-breaking $8.9bn (£5.2bn) fine last week for busting US trading sanctions with Sudan, Cuba and Iran.
Both banks’ shares dipped on reports that they were in line for fines.
Commerzbank had previously set aside €934m (£742m) to cover legal risks, with the sanctions case accounting for a large proportion of that.
The bank declined to comment further yesterday.
“Deutsche Bank has received requests for information from regulatory agencies concerning its historical processing of US dollar payment orders through US financial institutions for parties from countries subject to US embargo laws and as to whether such processing complied with US and state laws,” said a spokesperson. “Deutsche Bank is cooperating with the regulatory agencies.”
Other banks hit by similar cases include Credit Suisse, Standard Chartered, RBS and HSBC.
Commerzbank’s shares fell 5.03 per cent and Deutsche Bank’s dropped 1.94 per cent.