At Least 28 German Banks Did Business With Panama Firm, SZ Says

  • Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank among lenders mentioned in papers
  • SZ findings part of leaked documents on shell companies

Deutsche Bank AG and Commerzbank AG are among at least 28 German banks that did business with the law firm at the center of a global scandal involving hidden wealth, Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported, citing leaked documents that has laid bare the workings of offshore shell companies.

German banks worked with Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca to create or manage more than 1,200 shell companies for clients, Sueddeutsche reported. The documents also show that thousands of Germans used the offshore vehicles facilitated by the firm, the newspaper said.

Deutsche Bank said it won’t comment on individual clients. The bank’s practices conform with the law even as the lender has stepped up efforts to determine whom it does business with, the lender said in an e-mailed statement.

Commerzbank referred to a decision by prosecutors to end an investigation into suspected tax evasion by clients with its accounts in Luxembourg, according to a bank spokesman. The bank was fined 17 million euros ($19 million) in the case, Sueddeutsche reported last October.

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