Wednesday, December 12, 2018


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James von Moltke, chief financial officer of Deutsche Bank AG.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images
James von Moltke, chief financial officer of Deutsche Bank AG.

Police raids on Deutsche Bank’s offices in Frankfurt last week were not the fault of the current management team, according to the firm’s chief financial officer (CFO).

“To date, we are not aware of any wrongdoing on our part, so we will await the conclusion of the prosecutors,” Von Moltke said.

The public prosecutor’s office in Frankfurt said an evaluation of data from the Panama Papers had triggered suspicion that the bank may have helped customers create offshore companies in tax havens around the world.

In 2016 alone, more than 900 customers with a business volume of 311 million euros ($353.6 million) were thought to have been cared for by a Deutsche Bank subsidiary based in the British Virgin Islands, the prosecutor said.

Von Moltke rejected the suggestion that Deutsche Bank’s present board had been weakened by the raid, adding that the current management team had made “enormous efforts” to improve controls on its system to better understand clients.

Shares of the bank slipped heavily following news of the police action and the firm’s corporate bond value also fell.

The CFO said capital markets had “struggled to get a sense of proportion” of the raid and that the affected business was a small division with revenues in the single-digit millions.

“It was (a) trust services business that in terms of revenues, customers and profits, was extremely small,” he said.

Von Moltke said there had been a “very muted” response by clients to the raid and that liquidity remained strong. The CFO added that the bank was working hard to explain the situation.

“Raids that take place with reasonable frequency in Germany, aren’t that well understood outside Germany,” he said, before adding “our focus is on working with the prosecutors.”

Since 2015, Deutsche Bank has endured a failed stress test in the U.S., several attempts to restructure, a leadership shake-up and a ratings downgrade.

Shares of the bank have tumbled over 50 percent this year, but Von Moltke said the bank’s operating health was improving.

“We have been targeting to have the first profitable year in several years and we remain on track to achieve that.”

CNBC’s Sam Meredith contributed to this report.

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