x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Deutsche Bank ends standoff with DIFC regulator over disclosures

Deutsche Bank has consented to hand over required documents to the regulator and pay US$100,000 in legal costs, according to court documents.

Deutsche Bank has to produce the requested documents and information within 28 days and pay the money within seven days. Ralph Orlowski / Reuters
Deutsche Bank has to produce the requested documents and information within 28 days and pay the money within seven days. Ralph Orlowski / Reuters

Deutsche Bank has agreed to settle a high-profile court case brought against it by the Dubai Financial Services Authority.

The DFSA, the DIFC’s financial regulator, filed the case in the DIFC Courts in October after the bank refused to hand over documents pertaining to an investigation into the personal wealth management business of its DIFC branch on two separate occasions last year.

Deutsche has now consented to hand over the relevant documents to the regulator and pay US$100,000 in legal costs, according to court documents.

The bank has to produce the requested documents and information within 28 days and pay the money within seven days.

A consent order published on the DIFC Courts website on Thursday said that the bank “was in material non-compliance of the requirements to produce or procure the production of information and documents set out in the notices dated 25 July 2013 and 1 October 2013”.

A consent order typically comes after two parties come to an agreement outside court. The order was issued by the court before any hearings were held.

The case was the first to be filed by the regulator against a major western financial institution and the first court action it had filed in the past four years.

The request for documents was part of an investigation by the DFSA into alleged shortcomings in the bank branch’s customer due diligence and anti-money-laundering procedures.

The investigation, which began in December 2012, came as the regulator was concerned about several potential regulatory breaches by the bank’s personal wealth management division.

The DFSA presented the bank with a request for information on its personal wealth management clients in July, including client names, details of relationship managers, and the level of client due diligence performed by the bank.

The regulator claimed that Deutsche Bank did not provide the full range of information demanded of it. The lender is claimed to have raised the issue of client confidentiality under Swiss law, given that many of its clients were registered with its Geneva branch.

The bank is understood to have found a way to provide the relevant information to the DFSA without violating Swiss law.

Deutsche Bank declined to comment. The DFSA declined to comment further on the investigation, which it described as ongoing.

jeverington@thenational.ae