The SEC has laid charges against Deutsche Bank for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, with the financial services giant agreeing to cough up more than US$120 million ($155.6 million).
The penalty has included more than US$43 million ($55.7 million) to settle the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) charges.
According to the regulator’s order, Deutsche Bank engaged foreign officials, their relatives and their associates as third-party intermediaries, business development consultants and finders to obtain and retain global business.
The SEC has ruled that the bank lacked sufficient internal accounting controls related to the use and payment of such intermediaries, resulting in around US$7 million in bribe payments or payments for unknown, undocumented or unauthorised services.
The payments were found to be inaccurately recorded as legitimate business expenses and involved invoices and documentation falsified by Deutsche Bank employees.
Charles Cain, chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) unit, commented: “While third parties can assist in legitimate business development activities, it is critical that companies have sufficient internal accounting controls in place to prevent payments to third parties in furtherance of improper purposes.”
The SEC’s order found that Deutsche Bank violated the books and records and internal accounting controls provisions of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
Deutsche Bank agreed to a cease-and-desist order and to pay disgorgement of US$35 million with prejudgement interest of US$8 million to settle the action.
The SEC did not impose a civil penalty in light of the US$79 million criminal penalty paid in the criminal resolution.
Sarah Simpkins is a journalist at Momentum Media, reporting primarily on banking, financial services and wealth.
Prior to joining the team in 2018, Sarah worked in trade media and produced stories for a current affairs program on community radio.
You can contact her on [email protected].
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