Exclusive: Deutsche poised to settle over Russian 'mirror trades': sources

Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:14pm EST
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By Arno Schuetze, Kathrin Jones and Andreas Kröner

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE: Quote) may settle investigations by British and U.S. authorities into so-called mirror trades by Russian clients as soon as Tuesday, sources told Reuters.

The probes into suspicious equities trading are among the biggest legal headaches remaining for Deutsche Bank, which earlier this month signed a $7.2 billion U.S. settlement over toxic mortgage securities.

Mirror trades may have allowed Russian customers to illegally move money from one country to another, in violation of money laundering controls, people close to the matter have said. Clients bought stocks in Moscow in roubles and then sold them almost simultaneously in London in other currencies.

The imminent settlements, with Britain's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS), will cost Germany's largest lender significantly less than the 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) in provisions it had set aside for the case, the sources said.

Deutsche Bank, the DFS and the FCA all declined to comment.

The status of a probe of the trades by the U.S. Department of Justice is unclear. A spokesman for the department declined to comment.

Initial allegations that the mirror trades also violated Western sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine conflict, were dropped later, the people added.

Deutsche Bank said last year it was investigating certain equity trades in Moscow and London, adding the total volume of the transactions under review was "significant." It also cut back on its investment banking activities in Russia last year.   Continued...

A green traffic light is seen next to the logo of Germany's largest business bank, Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt, Germany, October 27, 2016.   REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach