Deutsche Bank takes $1.3 billion litigation charge to reserve for Russia Mirror Trade issues

Investment giant Deutsche Bank AG (FRA:DBK) has set aside EUR 1.2 billion ($1.3bn) in litigation reserves, mostly to cover possible liabilities regarding suspected money laundering in Russia.

The scale of the transactions flagged is growing: according to a Bloomberg report, quoting people with knowledge of the matter, Deutsche Bank has identified as much as $4 billion in suspicious transactions related to its Russian operations, on top of the $6 billion in so-called mirror trades it is examining. This means that the amount of suspicious transactions now reaches $10 billion.

The U.S. officials have been made aware of the additional suspicious trades, according to the people familiar with the matter.

The Bank of Russia, which reviewed about a year of mirror trades, imposed a fine of approximately $5,000 on Deutsche Bank, mainly for procedural shortcomings, people familiar with the report said. The Russian “Megaregulator” said the bank was a victim of an illegal scheme and had addressed its technical deficiencies, according to a person familiar with the findings.

The U.S. Justice Department’s investigation, however, goes on. And the scale of trades affected could be a factor in determining an eventual penalty.

Deutsche Bank declined to comment on the bigger tally of trades. Amanda Williams, a spokeswoman, pointed to an interim report released in October, which said that the bank is investigating a significant volume of offsetting equity trades by clients in Moscow and London.

Over the past several months, Deutsche Bank has been restructuring its Russian business. In September this year, Deutsche announced the closure of its onshore Corporate Banking & Securities Business (CB&S) presence in Russia, in a move aimed at reducing business complexity, costs, risks, and capital consumption.

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