Deutsche Bank’s role in the Danske Bank money laundering scandal is reportedly facing a deeper investigation from the US, in a move likely to heap fresh pressure on the embattled German lender.
The US Department of Justice is probing whether Deutsche helped transfer tainted money from Danske into the US, a source told Reuters.
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Frankfurt prosecutors have begun working with the DoJ, the sources said, amid questions over Deutsche’s role in processing payments for Danske Bank.
The DoJ’s focus on Germany’s largest bank and its work with Frankfurt prosecutors have not previously been reported.
Denmark’s biggest lender is under investigation in several countries over the suspicious payments that added up to €200bn (£170bn) moved through its small Estonian branch between 2007 and 2015.
In September a former head boss of the Estonian branch was found dead, further complicating the world’s biggest ever money laundering scandal.
The news comes at a difficult time for Deutsche Bank, which is embarking on a major restructuring under chief executive Christian Sewing.
High-profile financial investigations, spiralling costs and botched merger plans have all blighted the fortunes of the German banking giant in recent years, leading to Sewing’s announcement in July that he was shutting the firm’s loss-making equities business and axing thousands of jobs globally.
Deutsche Bank’s spokesman said it had significantly improved controls in recent years.
“We have repeatedly stressed that we are in a good and constructive exchange with the authorities,” he added.
Meanwhile, a Danske spokesman said it continued to cooperate with the authorities in Estonia, Denmark, France and the US.