Deutsche Bank and DWS raided over greenwashing allegations

Shares of DWS fell 4.6% on the news and Deutsche Bank fell 2.3%. While DWS is publicly traded, Deutsche Bank has an almost 80% stake.

Among other things, Ms Fixler said DWS claims that hundreds of billions of its assets under management were “ESG integrated” were misleading because the label did not translate to meaningful action by fund managers. concerned. DWS has since stopped using the label.

The Frankfurt prosecutor said he opened his investigation in January, sparked by reports of Ms Fixler’s allegations. She has since found sufficient evidence that “contrary to statements in the sales prospectuses of DWS funds, ESG factors have in fact only played a role in a minority of investments”. The raid targets as yet unidentified DWS personnel and cadres.

DWS CEO Asoka Woehrmann fired Ms Fixler in March last year, saying in a memo to staff that her unit had not made enough progress. She sued for unfair dismissal but lost the case in a Frankfurt labor court in January.

The upper echelon of Deutsche Bank has also been dragged into the greenwashing affair. Regulators investigating the matter asked the lender about the role of deputy chief executive Karl von Rohr, who is also chairman of the DWS supervisory board. He was Ms Fixler’s primary email recipient when she first reported her ESG concerns to DWS shortly after her dismissal. Mr Von Rohr helped organize an external audit of his claims which cleared the DWS, people familiar with the matter said.

For Mr Woehrmann, the raid is another blow after he faced internal and external scrutiny over his use of personal email for business purposes and the role his relationship with a German businessman played. played in transactions. Mr. Sewing has backed Mr. Woehrmann so far, not least because DWS has performed well under him. But the flow of negative news has frustrated the lender’s management, Bloomberg reported.

Police vehicles arrive for a raid on the offices of Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt on May 31.

The latest raid comes about a month after Deutsche Bank’s headquarters were raided on suspicion that it was too late to flag potential money laundering. While Mr Sewing has long sought to shed the past of heavy Deutsche Bank fines and restore relations with regulators, a number of new issues have emerged since he took office four years ago. .

The bank was recently found guilty of breaching a deferred prosecution agreement with the US Department of Justice, and it received a scathing letter from the US Federal Reserve over flawed controls last year. BaFin has launched an investigation into Deutsche Bank over private communications and the lender is facing a similar investigation in the United States, Bloomberg reported.

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