Daily Management Review

US DOJ suspects Deutsche Bank of violating deal with prosecutors


The US Justice Department has notified Deutsche Bank that it may have breached the terms of the pre-trial agreement by failing to report problems with ESG investing in its asset management arm, DWS. Reporting the problems was one of the bank's obligations under the deal with prosecutors.

Can Pac Swire
Can Pac Swire
The US Department of Justice has told Deutsche Bank that it suspects the bank is in breach of a pre-trial agreement entered into in January 2021. The bank failed to tell prosecutors about problems related to the sustainability investments (ESG, environmental, social and governance business responsibility) at its asset management arm DWS Group, interlocutors told The Wall Street Journal. 

Deutsche Bank and Justice Department officials declined to comment. The US authorities learned of a complaint that DWS Group was presenting investors with a highly overvalued picture of following ESG policies, not from the bank itself, but from a WSJ publication in August. According to the paper, former DWS head of sustainability Desiree Fixler sent an email to two Deutsche Bank executives in March. According to the opinion expressed in the letter, DWS dismissed Fixler for raising concerns about several issues, including exaggerating the merits of ESG investing.

In January, Deutsche Bank entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with prosecutors over allegations of involvement in overseas corruption and market manipulation. The bank agreed to pay $130 million and pledged to report any potential problems as soon as it became aware of them within a few years.

source: wsj.com