Former employees of German lender Deutsche Bank reportedly retained access to the financial institution’s systems, prompting an internal review of the matter, reports in the Financial Times said Monday (July 29).
According to reports, citing unnamed sources, Deutsche Bank is looking into whether confidential client data was compromised as a result of fired employees’ ability to continue accessing the bank’s systems after they departed. The bank reportedly failed to deactivate system access for dozens of fired employees following the shut down of its global equity operations earlier in the month, the publication said.
Former traders in London and New York offices retained system access and access to their emails for several weeks after they were fired on July 8.
One fired employee sent 450 messages by accessing Deutsche systems remotely following her layoff, reports said.
“Access to trading systems was turned off immediately for employees being put at risk of redundancy,” the bank said in a statement. “A small number of employees continued to have access to their work emails through personal devices for a limited period.
“We have reviewed nearly all emails sent and so far found no evidence of any price sensitive information being communicated or of any other wrongdoing. Access to work emails has now been fully revoked.”
One source told the publication that Deutsche Bank may not have “thought through properly” the logistics of these layoffs, “which is causing a huge compliance headache.”
“We should have been more aware ahead of time and brought in more tech people to cope,” the person said.
The news outlet noted that the potential security mistake comes as Deutsche Bank readjusts its market strategy in a major restructuring. Bank CEO Christian Sewing plans to cut 18,000 staff and cut more than $320 billion in assets.
The internal investigation into fired employees’ continued access of bank systems will be headed by the bank’s global head of compliance surveillance Jeremy Kirk. The probe will focus on whether former staff were able to access sensitive client data or whether there was collusion between current staff and those that were fired, reports said.