© Reuters. The Deutsche Financial institution app emblem is seen on a smartphone on this image illustration taken September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Recordsdata
By Tom Sims and Marta Orosz
BERLIN (Reuters) -German prosecutors have searched the headquarters of Deutsche Financial institution (ETR:) in reference to an ongoing investigation of the multibillion-euro tax fraud scheme referred to as “cum-ex”, Deutsche Financial institution mentioned on Tuesday.
Germany’s largest lender is one among many banks that prosecutors have raided in reference to the tax scheme that thrived greater than a decade in the past.
The general public prosecutor’s workplace in Cologne, with out naming Deutsche Financial institution, confirmed it had carried out a raid on a financial institution and an auditing firm in Frankfurt that concerned greater than 100 investigators, and prolonged to the houses of 10 suspects.
Deutsche Financial institution, underneath Chief Govt Christian Stitching, has been making an attempt to scrub up its repute since he assumed the helm in 2018. Earlier this yr, prosecutors raided Deutsche Financial institution and its asset administration unit DWS over allegations of deceptive traders about “inexperienced” investments.
Within the buying and selling scheme being investigated on Tuesday, referred to as “cum-ex” or dividend stripping, banks and traders would swiftly commerce shares of corporations round their dividend payout day, blurring inventory possession and permitting a number of events to falsely reclaim tax rebates on dividends.
The loophole, now closed, has additionally snowballed right into a political scandal, forcing testimony earlier this yr from German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
The probe has lengthy taken on huge dimensions. Authorities officers say it entails some 100 banks on 4 continents and at the least 1,000 suspects.
Deutsche mentioned in a press release it has been cooperating with investigators on the difficulty since 2017 and continued to take action.
“The measure serves specifically to search out related communication within the type of emails and different written correspondence,” the prosecutors’ workplace mentioned in a press release.
Reuters has reported Deutsche Financial institution’s involvement within the scheme between 2006 and 2011, when bankers mentioned the “repute dangers” of the matter. Deutsche lent cash to corporations to hold out the trades.
Dozens of one-time Deutsche bankers have been focused within the tax probe, mentioned an individual with data of the matter.
In September, Deutsche mentioned that it, together with two different lenders, would pay a mixed 60 million euros to German tax authorities for its function within the scheme in an effort to place the difficulty behind it.
Handelsblatt first reported Tuesday’s search.