The presumption of innocence is one of the fundamental principles of constitutional criminal procedure. No suspect has to prove his innocence, but law enforcement must prove his guilt. It shouldn’t be shaken. In business life, however, this rule does not apply, especially with banks. For them, conversely, the rule of mistrust must apply: if credit institutions have the slightest doubt that a customer, business partner or employee is not serious, that they may be involved in the transaction. money laundering or others should steer clear of these partners – themselves if there is only evidence of their fault. Presumption of innocence? Not applicable here. Above all, the American authorities generally persist in pursuing complicity in money laundering, to cite just one example.
But above all, the two largest financial groups in the country, Deutsche Bank and Allianz, clearly ignored these rules of defiance when they got involved with two opaque businessmen in 2018, as studied by the SZ. In 2018, together with the start-up Auto 1, better known under the brand Wirkaufendeinauto.de, they launched a company, a new car bank called Auto 1 Fintech. Externally, the two traditional companies and Auto 1 acted as pilots, in truth Deutsche Bank and Allianz were only junior partners. Most of the money came from two opaque investors, who on the one hand also pursue less suspicious transactions, but on the other hand have stakes in two banks in northern Cyprus.
The banking system in Northern Cyprus is considered a hub for money laundering, terrorist financing and illegal gambling. The country is not recognized by the EU, normal international banking transactions are hardly possible. In Israel, terrorist organizations such as Hamas are believed to be funded by banks in northern Cyprus.
Now everything is in order, the CEO promised. It must be measured by this
Neither Deutsche Bank nor Allianz should therefore have become involved with these partners. Deutsche Bank in particular, whose record of sins is almost as long as the distance between Frankfurt and New York, cannot afford to be negligent in this area, and the German financial supervisor would do well to monitor this. near. It’s bad enough that a rogue state like Qatar has been one of the bank’s major influential shareholders for many years. The financial institution should therefore at least be careful with its business partners. In this case, Germany’s largest bank cannot apologize for the fact that lower-ranking employees in remote branches ignored any regulations. The top management was involved in this transaction, not only the current boss of the DWS subsidiary, Asoka Wöhrmann, but also the boss of corporate clients Stefan Hoops and the former boss of the investment bank Marcus Schenck. CEO Christian Sewing, who went from chief private banking to CEO in April, also knew the investors. Importantly, Sewing promised that the bank was now completely cleaned up. He has to be measured by it.
Even more than other companies, banks must ensure the good reputation of their partners. Because it is the institutes that inject the capital of these people into the business cycle or even make their business possible in the first place. They ennoble their clients by working together. After being vetted by Deutsche Bank, a partner carries a seal of approval with them. And of course, banks have to control not only customers, but also business partners. Germany has the sad reputation of being a money laundering paradise. In addition to politics and the real estate industry, banks are also to blame.
What is irritating in this case: Deutsche Bank and Allianz got involved with the two dubious businessmen to create a relatively small joint venture that they could have financed on their own without any problems. Why remains a secret at the moment. In any case, one has the impression that one took a high risk recklessly.