Sources familiar with the matter told Reuters that Deutsche Bank handed over numerous transaction records, emails and other documents, and investigators discovered instances in which staff noted concerns about new and existing Russian clients — only to be ignored by managers.
The investigation, which is also looking into whether the lender acted as a correspondent bank to facilitate the movement of illegal funds into the United States, is in the early stages. The House of Representatives Financial Services Committee declined to comment to Reuters.
A Deutsche Bank spokesman, Troy Gravitt, said the bank cannot comment on the ongoing probe, but it remains committed to cooperating with the congressional investigators.
“We have worked to address them, taken disciplinary measures with regards to certain individuals and reviewed our client onboarding and monitoring processes,” Gravitt said.
But Graham Barrow, a financial crime consultant, explained that while the bank has worked to reform, it has taken too many risks in countries such as Russia.
“The bank decided to go for becoming a global investment bank,” he said. “They were compromised.”
In 2017, Deutsche Bank agreed to pay regulators in the U.S. and the U.K. $630 million in fines for organizing $10 billion in fraudulent trades that might have been used to launder money out of Russia.
In addition to this investigation, the House has also started looking into possible money laundering in U.S. property deals involving President Donald Trump, as well as whether Trump’s dealings subjected him to the influence of foreign individuals or governments. As Trump’s biggest lender, Deutsche Bank is also a part of that inquiry and submitted documents to investigators after receiving a subpoena.
The White House and a Trump Organization spokeswoman, Amanda Miller, did not respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.