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Why did the Federal Reserve fine Deutsche Bank $186 million?
After years of failing to fix “unsafe and unsound practices”, Deutsche Bank (Deutsche) was fined $186 million for insufficient anti-money laundering (AML) controls by the Federal Reserve (Fed). This is in addition to two previous fines for the same offence from 2015 and 2017, which together totaled $99 million.
Deutsche had pledged to address the issues since their first fine in 2015; however, the Fed claims that the bank has made insufficient progress since 2018 to ensure compliance with sanctions, improve customer due diligence and tighten AML controls.
Besides the fact that this is the third AML progress fine, many believe Deutsche's involvement with a money laundering scandal at Danske Bank Estonia in 2022 played a role in the large $186 million figure.
Despite the fines, Deutsche continues to claim they are making significant investments in controls and have grown their global anti-financial crime team by more than 25% since 2019 with over 2,000 employees, but has still seen the same reoccurring issues of money laundering scandals and unsafe practices.
The Fed did recognized that Deutsch has made some progress recently; however, bank operations “remained exposed to heightened levels of compliance risk, including the risk of failing to detect money laundering activity or US sanctions violations".
The Fed urged them to make substantial progress on fixing these issues by the end of the year or face additional penalties, and also announced a Written Agreement to address other general deficiencies relating to Deutsche’s governance, risk management and controls.
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