Deutsche Bank braced for fines in forex probes: sources

FRANKFURT Wed May 28, 2014 12:22pm EDT

A man walks past Deutsche Bank offices in London December 5, 2013. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

A man walks past Deutsche Bank offices in London December 5, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Luke MacGregor

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank AG is preparing for fines in connection with investigations into possible manipulation of emerging markets currency rates and is also braced for civil lawsuits, two sources familiar with the views of the bank's management said.

The bank's internal investigations have uncovered isolated irregularities in trading of the Russian rouble and the Argentine peso, one of the sources told Reuters.

The other source said Deutsche Bank had said it had found no evidence of irregularities in major currency pairs.

Deutsche Bank, Germany's largest bank and the world's second-largest foreign exchange trader, has suspended around half a dozen staff in connection with currency trading irregularities and has said it is cooperating with authorities.

"Our investigations into trading in FX markets are ongoing and, as we have previously said, as part of those investigations we are reviewing trading in emerging market currencies," the bank said in a written statement sent to Reuters.

A spokesman for German financial watchdog Bafin declined to comment.

Numerous banks have been caught up in allegations of manipulation of global forex rates.

Commerzbank, Germany's second-largest bank, said last week it had fired one trader and suspended another on suspicion they had tried to manipulate the Polish zloty's euro exchange rate.

Investigations into forex rates are running alongside scrutiny of benchmark interest rates. Eight financial firms have been fined billions of dollars for manipulating Libor and other reference rates, and the probe into the largely unregulated $5.3 trillion-a-day forex market could prove even costlier.

Bafin said last week that discoveries in the forex probe were worrying and it was "much, much bigger" than the investigation into benchmark interest rates.

Deutsche Bank has set aside around 2 billion euros ($2.7 billion) in legal provisions in anticipation of fines and settlements, though the bank has not specified which risks or potential fines have been covered with those provisions. ($1 = 0.7345 Euros)

(Writing by Thomas Atkins; Editing by David Holmes)