Ex-Deutsche Bank Russia Equities Head Claims Wrongful Dismissal

  • Wiswell files suit in Moscow as lawyer makes link to sanctions
  • Equity saleswoman Maksutova says she has filed similar suit

Deutsche Bank AG was sued by two employees fired amid an investigation into possible money laundering at its Russian unit.

Tim Wiswell, the former head of Russian equities, “filed a suit protesting his dismissal, the possible reason for which was his work with a client from the inner circle of one of the Russians on the U.S. and European Union sanctions list,” Wiswell’s lawyer, Ekaterina Dukhina, said in an e-mailed statement from Moscow on Wednesday.

Separately, Dina Maksutova, who worked in Russian equity sales, said by phone that she filed a wrongful dismissal lawsuit last month.

Anke Veil, a spokeswoman for Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt, declined to comment when reached by phone.

Deutsche Bank said earlier this year that it is investigating a “significant volume” of trades by clients in Moscow and London that may have been illegal. The probes into potential money laundering are a blow to the company’s efforts to draw a line under its fines for misconduct and contributed to a decision last month to shut its investment banking business in Russia.

The bank had said it suspended a “small number” of people employed in its equities trading operation pending the results of an internal review at its Moscow office. Wiswell and Maksutova were among the people put on leave during the investigation, people with knowledge of the matter have said.

The lender’s probe has focused on whether $6 billion in trades in Moscow and London were part of a possible money-laundering scheme by Russian clients, people familiar with the situation said in June.

Wiswell was fired Aug. 18, according to the suit. He’s asking for 4.2 million rubles ($67,000) for one month’s salary, 100,000 rubles for emotional suffering, a bonus of 226,000 euros ($254,090) and to have his dismissal declared illegal.

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