FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany’s financial watchdog has asked Deutsche Bank <DBKGn.DE> to provide information on its dealings with Danske Bank <DANSKE.CO>, which is caught up in money laundering allegations, a source close to the matter said on Tuesday.
After evaluating the data, the regulator – BaFin – will decide whether to launch a formal investigation into Deutsche Bank, the source said.
BaFin declined to comment. A spokesman for Deutsche Bank said: “We are neither aware of any investigation by BaFin nor have we received any formal requests for information.”
On Monday, Deutsche Bank confirmed for the first time that it had acted as a correspondent bank for Danske Bank in Estonia.
“Our role was to process payments for Danske Bank,” a spokesman for Deutsche Bank said on Monday. “We terminated the relationship in 2015 after identifying suspicious activity.”
A spokesman for Danske Bank declined to comment on its relationship with Deutsche Bank.
A whistleblower who revealed alleged money laundering involving Danske Bank had said on Monday that a major European bank helped process up to $150 billion in suspicious payments, or nearly two-thirds of the transactions under scrutiny.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said BaFin was trying to determine to what extent Deutsche, as correspondent bank, should have been aware of who was behind the transactions it was helping to process.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that Deutsche Bank handled about $150 billion in potentially suspicious transactions as a correspondent bank for Danske Bank. A spokesman for Deutsche Bank declined to comment on the Journal report.
(Reporting by Andreas Framke, Tom Sims and Arno Schuetze; Additional reporting by Stine Jacobsen in Copenhagen; Editing by Riham Alkousaa/Kathrin Jones/Michelle Martin/Jane Merriman)