Deutsche Bank AG (DB) has agreed to pay $37M to conclude the US government probes into its handling of trades in dark pool trading venues. The German bank also admitted that between 1/2012 and 2/2014 traders were misled about the way the it ranked its SuperX dark pool and other trading venues. The government settlements were reached with the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the New York Attorney General. Meantime, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority fined Deutsche Bank $3.25M, noting “deficient disclosures” involving dark pool trading.
According to the NY AG and the SEC, Deutsche Bank told investors that it ranked its dark pools according to a number of factors, including transaction costs. However, some its technology purportedly wasn’t functioning correctly which means that the order-routing choices were not organized according to the factors noted. The German bank also is accused of disregarding its own method for ranking dark pools and placing its own dark pool in a preferred tier.
The government believes that between 1/2012 and 2/2013, Deutsche Bank employed outdated dark-pool rankings to decide how to route orders rather than updating its ranking model on a regular basis.The bank discovered the technical glitch in 2013, but did not fully correct the issue and waited until the following year to notify clients.