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Business

Deutsche Bank pays fine for unprotected market info

Deutsche Bank looks unable to avoid making headlines as it faces a fresh fine for failing to properly protect non-public research information. But the sum it agreed to pay pales beside what's still to come.

Deutsche Bank on Wednesday agreed to pay a $9.5-million (8.6-million-euro) penalty to settle civil charges over what US regulators said was its failure to properly safeguard non-public information from its research analysts.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said Germany's largest lender "lacked adequate policies and procedures" to prevent analysts from disclosing to customers yet-to-be-published views, changes in estimates and short-term trade recommendations "during morning calls, trading day squawks, idea dinners and non-deal road shows."

The bank settled the case without admitting or denying the charges. In a statement, Deutsche Bank spokeswoman Amanda Williams said the lender "takes its research analyst communications and conduct very seriously."

Darker clouds coming nearer

She added the bank had a robust policy and had taken steps to correct issues identified by the SEC.

The Commission also fined the bank for issuing a research report about retailer Big Lots that urged investors to buy stock even though the analyst who prepared it privately told certain bank employees the stock was not worth it and should have been downgraded.

The fresh fine comes amid talks between Deutsche and the US Department of Justice, which had called for a $14-billion fine to be slapped on the German bank for mis-selling toxic mortgage-backed securities. Experts believe, though, that the two sides will ultimately settle for a lot less.

hg/sgb (Reuters, dpa)

 

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