ECB Review

Time For a Closer Look

So, are we in trouble? Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan (left) and ECB President Mario Draghi. Source: Getty Images

The European Central Bank may conduct a review of Deutsche Bank shareholders from Qatar and China under its authority to verify sources of funds for large stakes in banks, and in particular to see if money-laundering or terrorism financing is involved.

The Qatar ruling family and the Chinese firm HNA each hold just under 10 percent of Germany’s largest bank, making them Deutsche’s largest shareholders. The 10-percent threshold would automatically trigger an ECB review, but the central bank has the discretion to investigate any situation where a shareholder may be exerting influence on the bank.

The possibility of such a review, first reported by the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung, comes amid the controversy over Qatar’s alleged support for terrorist organizations after four Arab countries imposed a commercial embargo on the emirate. Chinese investment in Germany as a rule comes under close scrutiny from the authorities.

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