Police officers in Frankfurt have searched the offices of Deutsche Bank and nearby premises of its wealth management division DWS.
According to the public prosecutor’s office, the raid is related to greenwashing allegations against DWS, during which 50 officials from the German supervisory authority BaFin, the Federal Criminal Police Office and the public prosecutor’s office searched the premises.
Since the market open on Tuesday, DWS shares are down 1.8% and Deutsche Bank shares are down 1.7%.
A spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office told Citywire the investigation into the alleged capital fraud had been ongoing since the beginning of the year. The audit to date has shown that, contrary to what is stated in the sales prospectuses of the DWS funds, ESG factors were only taken into account for the minority of the company’s investments.
DWS has faced greenwashing allegations since its former sustainability officer, Desiree Fixler, went public last August and said the company exaggerates the degree to which it integrates sustainability.
This led to the US regulator SEC opening an investigation into the company’s practices. In the meantime, a German labor court in Frankfurt has dismissed a lawsuit brought by Fixler against DWS.
A DWS spokesman said of the police raid: ‘We have continuously and extensively cooperated with all relevant regulatory authorities on this matter and will continue to do so.’