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Economy

Germany Cites Money Laundering Risk at Piraeus Bank’s Frankfurt Branch

February 18, 2021

The Frankfurt branch of Greece’s Piraeus Bank has been ordered by Germany’s financial oversight agency BaFin to take more steps to prevent money laundering there.

Germany’s financial watchdog said that the order was given Jan. 13 but only now reported and offered no further details about why it was given or if any criminal activity had been uncovered, the Reuters news agency reported.

Piraeus Bank is one of Greece’s four largest banks. Its main shareholder is bank rescue fund HFSF (Hellenic Financial Stability Fund) with a 61 percent stake as it saw bad loans soar during Greece’s long-running financial crisis worsened by austerity.

“This is a known issue of upgrading the systems of our branch in Frankfurt,” an official at Piraeus Bank’s Athens headquarters said, declining to be named.

“It has been agreed with German authorities that the upgrade will take place within the first half of this year,” the official said. BaFin declined to comment further, said the news agency. 

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