Deutsche Bank AG Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing last year launched a further internal investigation into the lender’s role as correspondent bank for scandal-ridden Danske Bank’s Estonian unit, even though he hasn’t seen any evidence of wrongdoing.
The bank had previously probed its role in the case as well as any involvement in a tax evasion scheme referred to in the Panama Papers “long before the cases became public”, Sewing said at an event in Berlin on Tuesday. He said the bank has revived its investigation but urged the audience not to “prejudge” the bank and its employees and presume their innocence until proven guilty.
Deutsche has a “strong interest in continuing to clear up” the two cases, Sewing said. But “we have no indications to date for any wrongdoing on our part” in either instance, he said.
Scrutiny of Deutsche Bank’s involvement in the two cases intensified in November and December and contributed to a steep decline in its share price as investor concern about potential future legal bills increased. The bank’s headquarters in Frankfurt were raided in late November by 170 law enforcement officials looking for information on the Panama Papers and the event had a negative effect on the bank’s revenue in the fourth quarter, Chief Financial Officer James von Moltke previously told Bloomberg.
“We have the highest interest in regaining lost trust,” Sewing said in his speech Tuesday. “And we are thankful to the many clients who have stood by us in the past weeks as well.”
The bank’s shares were up as much as 2.4 percent on Wednesday and traded 1.8 percent higher at 10:16 am.
Bloomberg | January 15, 2019