Nov. 29 (UPI) -- German authorities raided Deutsche Bank headquarters in Frankfurt Thursday as part of a money-laundering probe, authorities said.
Prosecutors and police suspect the bank helped clients set up offshore tax havens and failed to report suspicions of money laundering.
Money may have been transferred to Deutsche Bank accounts that was obtained illegally and the bank failed to notify authorities of possible money laundering into offshore companies as tax havens, Frankfurt prosecutors said.
The probe was based on evidence that Deutsche Bank helped set up tax havens from the Panama Papers reports of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the prosecutors' office said.
The German lender said in a statement police are investigating several German locations in regard to the Panama Papers. The bank said it has fully cooperated with authorities.
The bank's shares have hit all-time lows after repeated failures to stop misconduct, including its role as a correspondent bank for a multi-billion-dollar laundering scheme at Denmark's Danske Bank.
Officials said Thursday's raid was unrelated to the Danske Bank probe. Still, Germany's markets regulator has appointed a monitor to oversee the bank's efforts to control laundering and financing terrorism.
"This must be associated with criminal behavior and not just a trivial offense," said CEO Stefan Mueller of DGWA, an investment advisory boutique based in Frankfurt. He said the bank will now be paralyzed for months until it becomes clear how it will be effected by new potential fines.
"Maybe this time, [chairman Paul] Achleitner will fall. The bank needs fresh blood to make a radical cut at its management."
Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing, who took the helm in April, is replacing key executives in an effort to get the firm back on the right track.
People familiar with the matter said this week that Sylvie Matherat, a management board member serving as the bank's chief regulatory officer and Tom Patrick, who runs American operations, are among the people who might end up leaving the company.