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On Thursday, continuing to do business in the country obliterating maternity hospitals as part of an unprovoked attack on another country was not “the right thing to do,” Deutsche Bank said. Leaving Russia was simply not practical. On Friday, quitting the country it had once enjoyed a profitable money-laundering franchise in was “against our values.”

Today, however, it is apparently exactly the right thing to do, completely practical and very much in line with Deutsche Bank’s values, probably because the firm does not have any.

"Like some international peers and in line with our legal and regulatory obligations, we are in the process of winding down our remaining business in Russia while we help our non-Russian multinational clients in reducing their operations," Deutsche Bank said in a statement late Friday…. "As we have repeatedly said, we condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the strongest possible terms and support the German government and its allies in defending our democracy and freedom," Deutsche Bank said in its statement.

Yea, but you also said you would stop lying to your shareholders and the Justice Department, and, well, how’s that going?

Deutsche Bank AG agreed to extend the term of an outside compliance monitor after Justice Department prosecutors found the bank violated a criminal settlement by not disclosing a misconduct complaint in its asset manager’s sustainable-investing business, the bank said…. The bank had ongoing disclosure and compliance obligations as part of a 2021 criminal settlement related to Deutsche Bank’s involvement in overseas corruption and market manipulation by futures traders. That deal required Deutsche Bank to pay $130 million, but the settlement allowed it to avoid indictment in exchange for staying out of trouble for three years and flagging future potential problems to prosecutors.

Luckily for Deutsche Bank, since no one—including, apparently, prosecutors—takes deferred prosecution agreements any more seriously than banks bleating on about “values” and doing the right thing, we can all just pretend that the Christian Sewing & co. didn’t stick by Vladimir Putin for as long as (and, frankly, longer than was) “practical,” to use their own yardstick.

Of course, they’re not alone in belatedly and weasel-y trying to join the do-gooder bandwagon, although they’d probably be getting a bit less stick had they followed Jane Fraser’s approach and hedge their bets at least a little before the inevitable and humiliating complete volte-face.

Citi said in a statement it has decided to "expand the scope" of its exit process to include "other lines of business and continue to reduce our remaining operations and exposure" in Russia.

"Due to the nature of banking and financial services operations, this decision will take time to execute," Citi said, adding that it is "moving with urgency" to complete the assessment of its Russia operations.

Even Deutsche Bank is getting out of Russia [CNN]
Citi expands its exit from Russia [CNN]
Deutsche Bank Violates DOJ Settlement, Agrees to Extend Outside Monitor [WSJ]

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