German central bank probing Deutsche Bank valuation of credit derivatives

04/03/2013

April 3 (Reuters) - Germany's central bank has launched a probe into claims Deutsche Bank misvalued credit derivatives that allowed the bank to hide up to $12 billion in losses, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the situation.

Investigators from the Bundesbank are set to fly to New York next week as part of an inquiry into the allegations, the financial daily reported on its website.

The Bundesbank investigators intend to interview people, including former employees, who have knowledge of the company's dealings in credit derivatives, the paper reported.

In December, the FT reported that three former Deutsche Bank employees filed complaints with U.S. securities regulators claiming the bank failed to recognise up to $12 billion of unrealised losses during the financial crisis.

Also in December, law firm Labaton Sucharow LLP said Eric Ben-Artzi, a former quantitative risk analyst at Deutsche, used a whistleblower programme to tell the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) the bank failed to report the value of its credit derivatives portfolio correctly from 2007 through 2010.

Deutsche Bank reiterated a statement it made that month and denied the allegations that it misvalued a portfolio of credit derivatives.

It said the allegations are more than two and a half years old and that an investigation by a law firm had found the allegations to be wholly unfounded.

"The investigation revealed that the allegations stem from people without responsibility for, or personal knowledge of, key facts and information," a spokesman for Deutsche Bank said.

"We have and will continue to cooperate fully with our regulators on this matter."

The Bundesbank said it could not provide information on measures that affect individual institutions.

"Generally, you can assume that we pursue any allegations that are made, to assess their validity," a Bundesbank spokesman said.



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