• Fine related to branch’s private wealth management business
  • Branch said to have misled Dubai authorities
  • Branch has now reviewed and improved processes

German lender Deutsche Bank’s Dubai International Financial Centre  (DIFC) branch has been fined $8.4m by the Dubai financial authorities for “serious contraventions”.

The fine, which is one of the largest imposed by the Dubai authorities in the past decade, is to penalise the bank branch for misleading the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), as well as failures in the branch’s internal governance, systems and controls, and its anti-money laundering processes.

The fine follows an investigation into the bank branch’s activities between January 2011 and January 2014 by the DFSA.

The review of the branch found several contraventions, including running its private wealth management business in breach of DFSA requirements. The bank’s staff also provided false information to the authorities on several occasions, the authorities found.

“The DFSA expects firms to have governance structures and systems and controls in place that encourage compliance with our rules and that promptly identify and remedy any regulatory failings,” said Ian Johnston, CEO of the DFSA, in an official statement.

“The fine imposed in this case reflects the seriousness with which the DFSA views these failings.”

The Deutsche Bank branch has been working with the authorities on the investigation since January 2014. It has made several changes to its operating model and improved its internal governance arrangements.

The statement from Deutsche Bank said: “We have reviewed and subsequently upgraded our client on-boarding processes, and we are pleased the DFSA has acknowledged that Deutsche Bank has taken steps to remedy the matters described in the decision notice”.

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