Deutsche Bank has agreed to pay more than $16 million to settle charges that it violated US corruption laws by hiring relatives of foreign government officials in order to win or retain business, the US regulator said in a statement.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alleged that Germany’s largest lender hired poorly qualified or unqualified relatives of officials in Asia and Russia at their request, in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Between at least 2006 and 2014, it said Deutsche employed relatives of executives working at state-owned enterprises in China and Russia with the “primary goal” of generating business for the company such as initial public offerings, Reuters reported. The SEC also found that Deutsche employees created false books and records that concealed corrupt hiring practices and failed to accurately document and record certain related expenses, violating internal accounting rules. Under the settlement, Deutsche Bank did not admit or deny the findings, the SEC said.
“Deutsche Bank provided substantial cooperation to the SEC in its inquiry and has implemented numerous remedial measures to improve the bank’s hiring practices,” a Deutsche spokesman said in a statement emailed to Reuters.
The $16 million settlement includes disgorgement of $10.8 million, interest of $2.4 million and a $3 million civil penalty, the SEC said.
Deutsche is one of several global banks to be investigated over the hiring of so-called “princelings” in China.