Deutsche Bank on Tuesday named Joe Salama global head of anti-financial crime (AFC) and group anti-money laundering (AML) officer. Salama will succeed Stephan Wilken, who has served in this role since October 2018.

The appointment of Salama, who currently serves as global head of litigation and regulatory enforcement and general counsel for the Americas, comes less than a month after Deutsche Bank was criticized by German financial regulator BaFin regarding its AML controls. BaFin, which expanded the mandate of a monitor it assigned Deutsche Bank in 2018, ordered the bank to “adopt further appropriate internal safeguards” and continue improving compliance with due diligence obligations, particularly regarding customer reviews.

Salama will assume his new position July 1, pending regulatory approval. He will report to Chief Administrative Officer Stefan Simon and become a member of the executive committee. Salama will be based in Frankfurt, Germany, and in New York “to ensure close collaboration with all our regulators,” Simon said in an internal email.

Salama has been with Deutsche Bank for more than a decade. In recent years, he has negotiated almost all the bank’s “major AFC-related legal settlements and has been a key contact for our monitors, as well as for regulators and enforcers worldwide,” Simon said.

Simon added Wilken will be assuming a new responsibility within the bank, “which we will announce in due course.” Wilken has been with Deutsche for over 25 years.

Compliance enhancements

Tuesday’s announcement comes amid a restructuring of compliance duties at the bank. Deutsche announced in March that Chief Risk Officer Stuart Lewis would be leaving the bank by 2022 and that his compliance and anti-financial crime responsibilities would be transferred to Simon and combined under legal and regulatory affairs.

In his email, Simon described progress the bank has made over the past two years. “The bank has invested substantially in building its capabilities in financial crime risk management,” he said. “Stephan and his team have developed, and commenced implementation of, the bank’s AFC strategy to address the foundational requirements for robust financial crime risk management. In addition, the bank has significantly upgraded its skillset across all AFC risk disciplines, making senior subject-matter expert hires in different jurisdictions in order to address regulatory short-comings.”

“As a result, the AFC team has grown to over 1,600 people,” Simon said. “AFC has also worked closely with the businesses to formulate a target operating model which permit our business partners to actively manage our financial crime risks. Investments in improving data and technology continue.”

“Regulators around the world vigilantly monitor the progress we have made, and we are working diligently to comply with the requirements,” Simon continued. “We will continue to strengthen our controls and increase collaboration within the AFC function, as well as our collaboration with the business lines and the tech organization.”