Deutsche Bank Error Said to Briefly Send Client $6 Billion

Deutsche Bank's $6 Billion Net vs. Gross Mistake
  • Bank said to recover money one day later from hedge fund
  • Junior employee in foreign-exchange trading processed trade

Deutsche Bank AG’s foreign-exchange unit mistakenly sent about $6 billion to a U.S. hedge fund client in June and recovered the money a day later, a person briefed on the situation said.

A junior member of the Frankfurt-based company’s foreign-exchange sales team processed a trade using a gross figure, rather than a net figure, prompting a payment that was orders of magnitude higher, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the matter hasn’t been made public. The person wouldn’t identify the client.

John Cryan, 54, who replaced Anshu Jain as co-chief executive officer in July, has pledged to improve the bank’s internal controls to patch up relations with regulators and avoid a repeat of the fines which have sapped its capital and eroded earnings. As part of his overhaul, the former UBS Group AG finance chief is promoting executives with more experience of information technology and bank supervision, while replacing some of the investment bankers who thrived under his predecessor.

The bank reported the transaction to the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority, European Central Bank and the U.S. Federal Reserve, according to the Financial Times. Spokesmen for the regulators declined to comment, as did Renee Calabro, a spokeswoman for Deutsche Bank.

The shares fell 0.2 percent to 26.89 euros at 9:04 a.m. in Frankfurt. They have increased about 7.8 percent this year.

Deutsche Bank’s American depositary receipts traded as low as $29.61 after the FT reported the error on Monday, almost wiping out gains for the day. They later rebounded to $30.30 in New York on Monday.

The lender has faced questions and criticism in recent years about its internal controls.

Deutsche Bank received a letter from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in December 2013 assailing the quality of its regulatory reports, and earlier this year, it failed the Fed’s stress test because of qualitative concerns about its process. To Improve its internal controls, the lender has hired more than 1,000 employees.

In May, German banking regulator Bafin faulted Deutsche Bank executives on their failure to prevent and then adequately address the company’s role in attempts to manipulate benchmark interest rates. The bank later said that it had rectified several issues identified by Bafin and would continue to enhance its controls.

The company has faced about 12.3 billion euros ($14 billion) of costs to settle regulatory probes and lawsuits since the beginning of 2008, according to calculations by Bloomberg based on company and court filings. The figure includes reserves.

Under Cryan, Deutsche Bank announced a shakeup in senior management Sunday, including the departures of Colin Fan, the co-head of investment banking and trading, and Michele Faissola, a former senior banker at the bank’s debt trading unit and head of asset and wealth management.

Sylvie Matherat, head of government and regulatory affairs who joined last year from the French central bank, will oversee regulation and compliance as a board member while Chief Information Officer Kim Hammonds will succeed Henry Ritchotte as chief operating officer.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE