Communications error costs Deutsche Bank $12.5m

Deutsche Bank slapped with $12.5 million fine following internal broadcast, which revealed trading information to employees.

An internal broadcast at Deutsche Bank, which revealed research and trading related information to its employees, has cost it $12.5 million in fines.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in the US found the bank failed to supervise employee access to the internal speakers, commonly known as ‘hoots’ or ‘squawks’. 

Deutsche Bank apparently ignored multiple red flags regarding the possible information leakage via internal speakers, and it was aware the information could be confidential and price-sensitive.

FINRA said: “For several years, the firm repeatedly ignored red flags indicating that its supervision was inadequate.”

A fine of $12.5 million is to be paid by the bank, and a certificate must be provided to regulators stating it has adopted and implemented supervisory systems and written procedures concerning ‘hoots’.

Brad Bennett, FINRA’s executive vice president and chief of enforcement, described Deutsche Bank’s actions as “egregious, given the risk that material non-public information could be communicated over squawk boxes.”

Deutsche Bank did not confirm or deny the allegations, but has consented to the findings of FINRA.