Deutsche Bank penalized in US for Epstein, Danske Bank Estonia dealings

  • 2020-07-08
  • STT/BNS/TBT Staff

NEW YORK - Deutsche Bank has agreed to a 150-million-euro penalty for significant compliance failures in connection with the bank's relationship with disgraced American businessman Jeffrey Epstein and correspondent banking relationships with Danske Bank Estonia.

The penalty was announced by New York State's Department of Financial Services (DFS) on Tuesday.

“In each of the cases that are being resolved today, Deutsche Bank failed to adequately monitor the activity of customers that the bank itself deemed to be high risk. In the case of Jeffrey Epstein in particular, despite knowing Mr. Epstein's terrible criminal history, the bank inexcusably failed to detect or prevent millions of dollars of suspicious transactions,” Superintendent of Financial Services Linda A. Lacewell said.

Deutsche Bank processed hundreds of transactions totaling millions of dollars that, at the very least, should have prompted additional scrutiny in light of Epstein’s history, the announcement by New York State's DFS reads.

The bank also processed payments to individuals who were publicly alleged to have been Epstein's co-conspirators in sexually abusing young women.  

Deutsche Bank's lack of oversight also concerned Danske Bank's Estonian branch, which was ordered to close late last year after it emerged that some 200 billion euros, the bulk of which appears to have come from uncertain sources, was channeled through Danske's Estonian branch between 2007 and 2015.

Despite the fact that Deutsche Bank assigned Danske Estonia its highest possible risk rating, Deutsche Bank failed to take appropriate action to prevent Danske Estonia from transferring billions of dollars of suspicious transactions through Deutsche Bank accounts in New York, the DFS said.

Epstein, aged 66, was found dead in his prison cell in August last year while awaiting trial on charges related to his alleged sexual abuse of dozens of underage girls, some as young as 14 years old, from 2002 through 2005. Epstein's death has been ruled a suicide.