Photo: EL UNIVERSAL Archives

InvestaBank to buy Deutsche Bank assets despite scandal

25/11/2016
20:02
Noe Torres | Reuters
-A +A
InvestaBank partner Carlos Djemal and others were accused by U.S. prosecutors of receiving fraudulent tax refunds from Mexico's government and laundering more than $100 million through front companies.

Mexican bank InvestaBank will stick to its plan to acquire Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) assets in the country, saying it has been cleared in audits by local regulators after one of its partners was arrested in the United States.

In court documents made public in October, InvestaBank partner Carlos Djemal, who owns 15 percent of the bank, and others were accused by U.S. prosecutors of receiving fraudulent tax refunds from Mexico's government and laundering the money - more than $100 million - through front companies.

Djemal's lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Earlier last month, InvestaBank said it had agreed to buy two Mexican units of Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE), though approval from the regulator is pending.

After the criminal case was made public, authorities said they would probe whether InvestaBank had formed part of the illegal activities that Djemal is charged with.

"Verbally we have confirmation that we are fine," Chief Executive Officer Enrique Vilatela said in an interview, adding that dozens of inspectors had visited the InvestaBank offices in recent weeks.

"We don't have the resolution in writing yet, but we have it verbally," he said. "The Deutsche Bank operation is moving ahead and the capital raise. Right now we are meeting with funds to confirm that we are moving ahead."

Nevertheless, a spokesman from banking regulator CNBV said that the inspection process is still not finished.

"We are still in the process of analysis," the spokesman said. "There are no conclusions yet in the slightest."

A spokesman for the IPAB, which insures deposits, also said it did not yet have a final verdict. Mexico's central bank did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Vilatela also said he hopes that Djemal quits the bank.

"We are requesting through the family that he sell his shares and that he leave the bank," he said.

InvestaBank said on Oct. 26 it had agreed to buy the Mexican units of Deutsche Bank, and that it would seek a capital increase of some 2.5 billion pesos to help fund the purchase. The bank did not disclose the price tag for the deal.

InvestaBank was created in 2014 from the acquisition of Royal Bank of Scotland's (RBS.L) operations in Mexico.

(Reporting by Noe Torres; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

Mantente al día con el boletín de El Universal

Comentarios