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‘A reaction’: Deutsche Bank to establish new EMEA anti-fraud, bribery and corruption team

After being hit by a number of recent financial crime and anti-money laundering scandals, Deutsche Bank moved to establish a new anti-fraud, bribery and corruption team for the EMEA region last month.

The bank is looking to fill 400 positions this year globally in anti-financial crime and is recruiting for a new team in Europe to be led by regional head of anti-financial crime, Thomas Altenbach. The team will sit outside of the legal function, with four new recruits: one hire at director level and three other individuals with experience in anti-fraud, bribery and corruption matters. Deutsche Bank anti-fraud teams have historically comprised both legal and compliance professionals.

A spokesperson for the bank declined to comment on specifics but said in a statement: ‘Deutsche Bank has significantly strengthened its systems and controls. By the end of the year we will have hired approximately 1,000 additional staff in compliance and anti-financial crime since 2015.’

In January the bank finalised a $7.2bn settlement in principle with US authorities over the mis-selling of residential mortgage securities before the 2008 financial crisis. Again in January, it emerged both White & Case and Sullivan & Cromwell advised the bank as it was fined a total of £500m by both the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the New York Department of Financial Services over money laundering claims. The bank was fined £163m by the FCA and $425m by the American regulator.

One City white-collar private practice partner compared this move to that of Siemens following a string of bribery scandals that ultimately led to a $1.6bn settlement with American and European authorities. ‘Deutsche Bank has had its issues and still has its issues. Siemens went off and hired 500 compliance people after the problems it had with the US government. Those are a lot of hires and it does sound like a reaction to something, rather than incremental.’