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Deutsche to Pay $16.2M to Settle Foreign Corruption Charges

Zacks Equity Research

Deutsche Bank AG DB is required to pay about $16.2 million as fine to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). The bank was charged of improperly hiring relatives of foreign government officials to win business in China and Russia between 2006 and 2014.

The settlement amount consists of disgorgement of $10.8 million, interest of $2.4 million and a $3 million civil penalty, per SEC’s filing.

Per the regulator, Deutsche Bank employed children of some of the powerful officials “as a personal benefit to the officials in order to improperly influence them to assist the bank in obtaining or retaining business or other benefits.”

The German lender is said to have created false books and records that kept these violations hidden. Also, it failed in maintaining a proper system of internal accounting controls for hiring practices that could reasonably assure that its employees did not bribe foreign government officials.

Deutsche Bank did not admit or refuse the allegations regarding violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Notably, the penalty that it is required to pay is low compared with JPMorgan Chase JPM and Credit Suisse CS which were fined about $264 million in November 2016 and $77 million in July 2018, respectively, for similar accusations.

Our Take

Though Deutsche Bank’s restructuring efforts, including cost-saving measures, look encouraging, it is difficult to determine how much the bank will gain, considering the prevalent headwinds. Furthermore, dismal revenue performance and involvement in legal issues remain concerns.

The stock has lost 18.3% on the NYSE in the past six months compared with the industry’s decline of 13%.

Deutsche Bank currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

A better-ranked stock in the finance space is BanColombia S.A. CIB, carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for BanColombia has been raised 2.7% for the current year in the past 30 days. The company’s share price has gained 31.4% so far this year.

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JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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Credit Suisse Group (CS) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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