Corruption and money laundering: The banks with the highest penalties in 2020

A branch of the major Goldman Sachs bank in New Jersey, USA.
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In 20202, many credit institutions had to pay financial regulators fines. Cases of corruption, money laundering and tax evasion have been discovered. The finance portal “Finbold” has evaluated who had to pay the most: And that is by far the Goldman Sachs bank from the USA.


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Goldman Sachs had made it possible for Malaysian government officials to use money from the 1MDB sovereign wealth fund for their own purposes. The pot was actually set up in 2009 to stimulate the Malaysian economy. But instead of the domestic economy, 4.5 billion US dollars are said to have flowed into paintings, jewelry, black coffers for the former Prime Minister and officials. And so the accusation was not only of embezzlement, but above all of support for corruption.

The Malaysian subsidiary of the major bank had admitted to violating US corruption laws. Goldman Sachs therefore already paid a fine of around 3.3 billion euros (3.9 billion US dollars) last July, and later another 1.6 billion dollars. Last Thursday, Hong Kong financial regulators obliged the bank to pay an additional EUR 295 million ($ 350 million).

Wells Fargo: Millions of false accounts scandal

The € 2.8 billion in 2020 is not the first amount that the US bank had to pay in fine. The scandal was exposed in 2016, and since then Wells Fargo has had to pull the trigger in excess of € 5.9 billion ($ 7 billion).

The scandal in question is particularly perfidious. Employees had opened millions of false accounts and applied for credit cards for them – without the customers’ knowledge. So fees and interest payments should be collected in order to meet targets in this way.

Wells Fargo had set aside a good 3.38 billion euros (four billion US dollars) since 2016 to pay the fines. That was obviously not enough.

Deutsche Bank: Penalty for market manipulation

A German bank came in eighth with Deutsche Bank. Above all, she had to pay for business relationships with US entrepreneur and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. The US tax authorities fined the bank € 133 million ($ 150 million). You would have missed it to notice “suspicious transactions” in the millions and to counteract them accordingly. Credit institutions are the first instance when it comes to preventing criminal transactions, according to the US financial regulator.

A month before the Epstein case, Deutsche Bank was already fined a good 8.9 million euros (ten billion US dollars). The accusation was of market manipulation: Employees are said to have placed bogus bids on futures exchanges. In addition, the bank is said to have failed to comply with certain reporting requirements.

These banks pay most of the money to their employees


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