German officials raided the DWS asset management office, and the Deutsche Bank headquarters today, over allegations that DWS misled investors, and weren’t honest about how ‘green’ its investments were, the prosecutors said.
Both DWS and Deutsche Bank said the asset manager had been cooperating with the authorities and they would continue to do so. DWS has repeatedly denied the allegations.
The allegations go back to last August when a former employee accused the asset managers of Greenwashing, and of misleading their investors, and accused them of selling investments as “greener” or “more sustainable” than they were.
The prosecutors said “sufficient factual evidence has emerged” that ESG factors were taken into account in a minority of investments but on the contrary, were not taken into account at all in a large number of investments.
According to people who had previous knowledge of the operation, at mid-morning, Over 50 officers arrived at the DWS premises and Deutsche Bank’s twin towers in downtown Frankfurt to held meetings with the staff. None of the companies were given any advance notice of the raid, which involved the public prosecutors from Frankfurt, federal police and officials from the German financial regulator, BaFin.