German regulator ends Deutsche Bank probes over fixing scandals

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany’s financial regulator will take no further action against Deutsche Bank over alleged interest rate rigging and precious metals price fixing, the country’s largest lender said on Thursday.

The headquarters of Germany's Deutsche Bank is photographed early evening in Frankfurt, Germany, January 26, 2016. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

The watchdog, Bafin, has also drawn a line under a special audit into a derivatives trade with Italy’s Monte dei Paschi, Deutsche said in a statement.

Bafin confirmed it had closed the special audits but declined to comment on details.

“Bafin does not see the need to take further action against the bank or former and current members of the management board with respect to the closed special audits,” Deutsche said, adding the regulator cited changes it had already implemented or planned to redress shortcomings for its decision.

With the move, Bafin has finally dismissed allegations that Deutsche’s former co-chief executive Anshu Jain may have misled regulators during investigations into interest rate manipulation.

In December, Reuters reported Bafin had found no indication that Jain was aware or part of possible attempts at the German lender to manipulate interest rates.

Regulators have accused some of the world’s largest financial institutions of tainting markets with fraud and collusion and several top executives have lost their jobs over the scandal.

Deutsche is still examining whether it will take any action against individuals, several people familiar with the bank’s policy said.

And Bafin is still looking into $10 billion in suspicious trades made by Deutsche Bank clients via its Moscow office, which may have allowed clients to move money from one country to another without alerting authorities in 2014.


“We have taken many steps to improve our controls and processes and to strengthen the Bank’s governance,” Chief Executive John Cryan said in the statement.

At the bank’s annual press conference last month, Cryan said he would personally make sure the bank drew a line under its legal headaches.

Deutsche in April agreed to pay $2.5 billion to resolve investigations it manipulated benchmark interest rates used to price loans and contracts around the world. Authorities at the time also ordered the bank to fire employees and accused it of obstructing regulators.

Deutsche was also probed for its role in alleged price rigging of for gold, silver, platinum and palladium. The lender decided in late 2014 to wind down its physical precious metals trading business.

Separately, derivatives trades that Deutsche set up for Italy’s Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena are the target of investigations in Italy. Milan prosecutors last week asked former and current managers at Deutsche Bank, Monte dei Paschi and Nomura to be sent to trial for a series of alleged financial crimes including false accounting. The alleged offences revolve around two complex derivatives trades alleged to have been set up to conceal losses at the Italian bank.

Editing by Alexander Smith and Mark Potter