WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Deutsche Bank will pay more than US$87 million (S$115 million) to settle allegations it broke US anti-bribery and commodities trading laws, US prosecutors said on Friday (Jan 8), the latest blow for the bank which has been trying to restore its image after a series of scandals.
Germany's largest lender agreed to the payout as part of a three-year deferred prosecution agreement with the US Department of Justice that was disclosed in Brooklyn federal court on Friday.
Deutsche Bank is also resolving related civil charges brought by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, court papers show.
"We take responsibility for these past actions, which took place between 2008 and 2017," Deutsche Bank said in a statement. "Our thorough internal investigations, and full cooperation with the DOJ and SEC investigations of these matters, reflect our transparency and determination to put these matters firmly in the past."
According to allegations heard in court, Deutsche conspired to violate the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bars companies with US operations from paying bribes overseas.
The New York Times reported earlier on Friday that the bribery claims related to the bank's China businesses and that the total penalty was roughly US$100 million.
The move by federal prosecutors comes as the bank, which is aiming to return to profitability after five years of losses, is in the middle of a major overhaul, with plans to cut headcount by 18,000 and exit some businesses. It has also been trying to restore its image in Washington amid several investigations into its dealings with President Donald Trump.
Deutsche Bank had in 2019 agreed to pay more than US$16 million to the SEC to settle charges that it violated US corruption laws by hiring relatives of foreign government officials in order to win or retain business.
The SEC alleged then that Deutsche Bank hired poorly qualified or unqualified relatives of officials in Asia and Russia at their request, in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
In 2016, JPMorgan Chase & Co agreed to pay US authorities US$264 million to resolve allegations it hired the relatives of Chinese officials to win banking deals, while Credit Suisse paid US$77 million to settle a similar case last year.