DIFC hands Deutsche Bank its largest ever fine

GavelThe regulator of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has issued its biggest ever fine, $8.4 million, to Deutsche Bank for failures in its client take-on and anti-money laundering processes.

The regulator, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), found that Deutsche Bank’s DIFC operation knew its wealth management business was in breach of requirements. The regulator also found that a small number of individuals at the firm gave false information to the regulator.

“Had [the DIFC branch of Deutsche Bank] cooperated at an early stage of the investigation, the matter would have been resolved far sooner and at significantly less costs to both the DFSA and the firm,” says Ian Johnston, chief executive of the DFSA. “The fine imposed in this case reflects the seriousness with which the DFSA views these failings.”

The fine is evidence of an increasingly active approach to enforcement from the DFSA. In March, it was reported that the DFSA was investigating the private banking activities of ABN Amro in the DIFC.

The fine would have been $10.5 million had not Deutsche Bank benefited from a 20% discount in reward of early payment.

In a statement, Deutsche Bank said it had upgraded its client on-boarding processes and was pleased to have reached an agreement with the regulator.

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