Deutsche Bank accidentally sent hedge fund client US$6b, says report

The logo of Deutsche Bank AG on the exterior of a bank branch in Berlin, Germany.
The logo of Deutsche Bank AG on the exterior of a bank branch in Berlin, Germany. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) - Deutsche Bank's foreign-exchange unit mistakenly sent US$6 billion (S$8.35 billion) to a US hedge fund client in a so- called fat-finger error in June, recovering the money a day later, the Financial Times reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.

A junior member of the bank's foreign-exchange sales team processed a trade using a gross figure, rather than a net figure, prompting a payment that was magnitudes too high, according to the newspaper. The employee's boss was on vacation at the time, it said.

The bank reported the incident to the UK's Financial Conduct Authority, European Central Bank and the US Federal Reserve, according to the FT.

Renee Calabro, a Deutsche Bank spokeswoman in New York, declined to comment on the report.

The German giant has been in the news lately, announcing a shakeup in senior management on Sunday.

Colin Fan, the co-head of the firm's investment banking and trading unit, is resigning. Jeff Urwin, 59, who joined the company from JPMorgan Chase & Co. as Mr Fan's co-head earlier this year, will oversee a newly formed corporate and investment bank unit that will include transaction banking. Garth Ritchie, 47, the head of equities, will become head of a separate markets unit.

Deutsche Bank may shed almost 25 per cent of its workforce through job cuts and the sale of assets, including its Postbank consumer-lending unit in Germany, a person with knowledge of the matter said in September.

John Cryan, who replaced Anshu Jain as co-chief executive officer in July, is scheduled to present a strategy update to investors later this month. The 54-year-old former UBS Group executive has said he will cut back parts of the investment bank which consume too much capital.

Mr Cryan may also forgo a dividend this year to conserve capital after the bank announced it was writing down the value of its investment banking unit and Postbank.

The lender's US operation has faced questions in recent years about its internal controls. The bank received a letter from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in December 2013 assailing the quality of its financial reports, and earlier this year, it failed the Fed's stress test because of qualitative concerns about its process. The German lender has hired more than 1,000 employees to improve controls.