SEC Fines Deutsche Bank Subsidiary DWS $19 Million Following Greenwashing Investigation


The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged Deutsche Bank’s investment arm, DWS, with making misleading statements about its ESG investment process. DWS has agreed to pay a $19 million fine to settle the charges, the largest-ever greenwashing penalty imposed on an asset manager by the SEC. The investigation was initiated after DWS’ former sustainability chief alleged that the firm misrepresented the extent of ESG integration in its annual report. German authorities also raided Deutsche Bank and DWS offices in June 2022 over suspicions of “prospectus fraud.” The SEC found that DWS made misleading statements about its controls for incorporating ESG factors and failed to implement accurate policies for its ESG integrated products. The SEC’s announcement coincides with its consideration of proposed disclosure rules to address greenwashing risks. DWS stated that there were no misstatements in its financial disclosures or fund prospectuses and that it has taken steps to address the identified weaknesses.



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