Deutsche Bank has been sentenced by the banking supervisor in New York to a fine of converted 133 million euros. The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) ruled that the bank should have been much more closely monitoring the financial path of American businessman Jeffrey Epstein, who has since died.
“It was a mistake to hire Epstein as a customer in 2013,” the bank said. Epstein is said to have sexually abused underage girls for years and committed suicide in a prison cell last summer.
Epstein had already been discredited in 2013, but Deutsche Bank itself tried to bring him in as a customer. He then made millions of dollars in suspicious transactions. According to regulator DFS, Deutsche Bank helped him pay millions in out-of-court settlements, send money to women in Eastern Europe, and collect about $ 800,000 in cash for “travel expenses.” Those many hundreds of transactions should have caught the bank’s attention. But Deutsche Bank did nothing.
The conclusion is that Deutsche Bank was not attentive enough with a ‘high risk customer’ like Epstein. “The banks are the first line of defense when it comes to crime prevention through the financial system,” said Linda Lacewell of DFS. ‘It is essential that the banks adapt the follow-up of their clients’ activities to the risks that a particular client poses. In Epstein’s case, it is unforgivable that the bank has failed to detect or prevent millions of dollars worth of suspicious transactions. “
In a statement, the bank acknowledges the weaknesses identified in the procedures and claims to have learned from those mistakes. After Epstein’s arrest, Deutsche Bank contacted investigators to give them full support in the investigation. “Our reputation is our most valuable asset, and we deeply regret our ties to Epstein,” it says.