Deutsche Bank has been ordered to pay $150 million by the New York state financial regulators. This follows the unearthing of “significant compliance failures” by the Bank in having a customer-bank relationship with Jeffery Epstein, the alleged child sex trafficker. The regulators have indicted the Bank for providing banking services to Epstein despite knowing about his notorious history.
Apart from the heavy fine, the regulators also reprimanded the Bank for compliance failures as the relationship continued. Various transactions were processed by Deutsche Bank, including periodic cash withdrawals totaling $800,000 over four years and transfers to co-conspirators under the legal scanner.
One of the basic premises of banking compliance followed throughout the world is KYC or Know Your Customer. It has been proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Deutsche Bank knew about the shady background of Epstein before opening the account in August 2013. Epstein had pleaded guilty in 2008 to soliciting underage prostitutes and was subsequently labeled as a Level 3 sex offender in New York.
However, though this information was in the public domain, the Bank’s relationship manager chose to ignore it. In an email to top executives, the focus instead was on the lucrative aspects of opening the account and how the Bank’s association with Epstein would lead to projected revenue of $2-4 million annually over time. It was also recommended that accounts of entities with the Epstein link should be opened.
The Epstein saga is thus one of a stunning number of red flags that were deliberately ignored by Deutsche Bank.
Incidentally, it is now known that Epstein was friends with both President Donald Trump and ex-President Bill Clinton. This has further fueled conspiracy theories about his supposed suicide in jail.