Deutsche Bank can finally turn the page on a lingering US Department of Justice (DoJ) criminal investigation into its handling of foreign exchange (FX) activities, ultimately closing its probe for the German lender, according to a report on the Financial Times.
The announcement comes nearly three years after an industry wide scandal into FX rate rigging and manipulation roiled global lenders. Since then a consortium of leading lenders have been fined upwards of $5.6 billion with both US and UK regulatory authorities – settlements reconciled a litany of allegations into illicit behavior dating back several years.
For Deutsche Bank’s part, the news is a welcome development as the bank looks to move past a tumultuous Q1 2017 that has been mired by persistent job cuts, fines, and a dramatic restructuring of its core business. The lender has also slashed its bonuses over the past couple months, as shareholders have grown increasingly impatient.
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Not Yet ‘Out of the Woods’
The DoJ announcement also follows the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission ceasing its own investigation into Deutsche Bank last October, helping take the bank out of the regulatory spotlight. However, Deutsche is also being investigated by other regulatory and law enforcement agencies that were delving into its FX activities – its existing regiment of probes also bear no consideration to today’s decision from the DoJ.
Moving forward, CEO John Cryan has his work cut out for him with 2017 already showing some strong headwinds for global lenders. The cessation of another potentially costly settlement does provide – at least temporarily – room for Cryan to steady a nervous investor base.
Back in late December, the group reiterated its capital strength following a landmark settlement with US regulators, which saw Deutsche Bank agree to a $7.2 billion deal with to resolve a probe into the alleged mis-selling of mortgage-backed securities.