Deutsche Bank this week reached a final settlement with the US Justice Department over their handling of mortgage-backed securities prior to 2008. The bank agreed to pay $9.5 billion (or US$7.2 billion) and admitted to misleading investors.
Deutsche Bank admitted to misleading customers about the loans underlying the securities, including falsely claiming that loans had been reviewed and approving loans that the diligence team had attempted to block.
The $9.5 billion penalty aligns with the bank’s announcement on 23 December that it has reached a settlement with the Justice Department. The bank will pay $4.1 billion (US$3.1 billion) civil penalty as well as $5.42 billion (US$4.1 billion) to relieve affected homeowners and borrowers.
“This resolution holds Deutsche Bank accountable for its illegal conduct and irresponsible lending practices, which caused serious and lasting damage to investors and the American public,” said US Attorney General Loretta Lynch in a written statement. “Deutsche Bank did not merely mislead investors: It contributed directly to an international financial crisis.”
The final settlement was the largest ever regarding the conduct of a single entity contributing to the Global Financial Crisis. It concluded a negotiation process that had caused Deutsche Bank’s shares to plummet to a record low last September, when the bank announced that the Justice Department had initially requested a payment of US$14 billion in settlement.
The bank continues to defend itself against numerous inquiries, including investigations into whether it manipulated the rates of foreign currency and precious metals, and whether it facilitated illegal fund transfers out of Russia.