Commerzbank fiasco offers lessons to compliance and boards

Governance failures and weak compliance at heart of $1.45bn fine

a photo of the commerzbank building in frankfurt
Commerzbank hit with $1.45bn fine

A $1.45 billion penalty for Commerzbank for violating US sanctions and allowing suspicious transactions on behalf of a client has turned the spotlight on the German bank's compliance failures. But bank boards everywhere also have something to learn from the case, consultants say.

And that is: to listen to their compliance teams, or risk losing their jobs if their neglect exposes the business to fines and years of closer – and potentially very costly – regulatory scrutiny.

"Shareholders are not

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