Deutsche Bank asked to take action to prevent money laundering

  • BaFin, the German financial watchdog, has announced the appointment of a special advisor to oversee whether Deutsche Bank takes effective measures to stop illegal money transfers.
  • Deutsche Bank's share price is down about 35 percent since the start of the year.
2016A statue is seen next to the logo of Germany's Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt, Germany.
Kai Pfaffenbach | Reuters
2016A statue is seen next to the logo of Germany's Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt, Germany.

German regulators have ordered Deutsche Bank to take internal actions to prevent money laundering, a few weeks after a scandal erupted in Danske Bank.

In a statement issued Monday evening, BaFin, the German financial watchdog, has also announced the appointment of a special advisor to oversee whether Deutsche Bank takes effective measures to stop illegal money transfers.

This comes a few weeks after the head of the Danish lender, Danske Bank, resigned following a money laundering investigation into the bank. A probe into the bank's activities showed that 200 billion euros ($234 billion) were moved through the Estonian branch between 2007 and 2015, most of which was suspicious.

Earlier this month, ING agreed to pay 775 million euros ($910.20 million) in penalties for failing to stop several companies to allegedly launder money over a six-year period.

Deutsche Bank told CNBC Tuesday: "We have the strong commitment to operate within regulatory compliant practices for the identification of our clients. We are in agreement with the BaFin that we have to improve these processes in the Corporate & Investment Bank further. The bank will work together with the BaFin and the special auditor KPMG to fulfill the regulatory requirements as soon as possible and within the given time frame."

In 2017, Deutsche agreed to pay $425 million to U.S. regulators over a scheme that moved $10 billion out of Russia between 2011 and 2015.

Deutsche Bank under pressure

Like other European banks, Deutsche Bank, Germany's largest lender has been under pressure since the financial crisis of 2008. Deutsche has been plagued by fines, several failed plans to reduce costs and losses in market share.

More recently, the bank appointed a new management team, in April, under the leadership of Christian Sewing. His appointment has raised questions about the future direction of the bank, including whether it will become more of a commercial bank.

Deutsche Bank's share price is down about 35 percent since the start of the year.

CEO Christian Sewing on Monday played down speculation of a possible merger, arguing that the lender has made progress to improve its profitability. Media reports in August suggested Deutsche was looking to merge with its domestic rival Commerzbank, in attempt to revamp the business in Germany.

On Tuesday, further media reports indicated that the German bank was preparing a record capital increase to buy Commerzbank. Deutsche Bank denied to comment on these reports.