Deutsche Bank Prosecutors Seize Massive Client List During 'Panama Papers' Raid

Prosecutors in Frankfurt seized a list of more than 900 Deutsche Bank clients in a tax evasion case known commonly as the "Panama Papers," a set of leaked documents which resulted in a raid at the German bank's headquarters in November, according to Bloomberg

The list is said to contain names of individuals and entities mostly located outside Germany, while the raid was focused on the role of a former Deutsche Bank wealth management entity located in the British Virgin Islands.

The Panama Papers showed that Deutsche Bank employees may have helped customers set up off-shore companies in tax havens, prosecutors said at the time. Those companies were allegedly involved in tax evasion, they said, adding that 900 clients were allegedly served via the unit. Prosecutors also seized extensive data on paper and electronically, the people familiar with the matter said.

The footage of rows of police cars parked in front of the bank’s two downtown Frankfurt towers in November fueled concerns about potentially expensive legal risks and sent the share price to an all-time low. -Bloomberg

Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sweing said he was surprised at the raid, saying in December that he thought the case was considered closed, having addressed it in "close cooperation with supervising authorities" in 2016 when the Panama Papers were leaked. 

Felix Hufeld, head of Germany's financial supervisor Bafin, said a year ago that German banks investigated in the Panama Papers probe had "largely" complied with existing money-laundering rules.