Deutsche Bank is planning to invest in technology in its anti-money laundering (AML) drive according to its head of global transaction banking.

Werner Steinmueller told the Reuters news agency that the bank would increase its technology spending on AML systems as part of the bank’s plans to gradually double its annual investment of EUR 100 million in the global transaction banking division.

Scam detection

“The regulatory requirements are rising, that is a big challenge for all banks,” he told the news agency, adding that computer systems can be relatively easily programmed to comply with sanctions against countries, companies or individuals.

But it gets much tougher when it comes to fraud according to Steinmueller who says that existing fraudulent schemes can be identified fairly quickly but new scams across countries and currencies are much more difficult to detect.

Steinmueller said banks used algorithms to spot suspicious trades, but with 200,000 to 300,000 transactions every day he compared the process with “looking for a needle in a haystack.”

Banking network

He did however say that Deutsche Bank has maintained its global transaction banking network and benefited from the retreat of peers from several markets.

The bank was hit by a scandal over suspected money laundering at its Moscow office earlier this year and has yet to settle with US authorities over alleged sanctions-related violations.