Deutsche Bank allowed potentially confidential research and trading information to be broadcast over internal speakers, according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA.
That body fined Deutsche Bank $12.5 million after finding that the German bank was aware that broadcasts, known as “hoots” or “squawks,” contained potentially confidential or price-sensitive information — but “repeatedly ignored red flags” suggesting it wasn’t adequately supervising the loud systems.
Traders regularly communicate across desks over internal speaker systems known as “squawk boxes.”
At least one registered representative of the firm communicated potentially confidential and/or material nonpublic information to customers as a result of the supervisory deficiencies, according to a filing from Finra.
That provided the recipients with a potential informational advantage over other customers.
“Deutsche Bank’s disregard of years of red flags including internal audit findings, risk assessments and compliance recommendations was particularly egregious given the risk that material nonpublic information could be communicated over squawk boxes," Finra’s chief of enforcement, Brad Bennett, said in a statement.
Deutsche Bank neither admitted nor denied the charges.