May 23, 2018 / 10:41 PM / a year ago

Mexico's Accendo Banco expects to close purchase of Deutsche Bank units in June

MEXICO CITY, May 23 (Reuters) - Mexican bank Accendo Banco, formerly InvestaBank, said on Wednesday it expects to finalize acquisition of Deutsche Bank’s local assets next month, capping a nearly two-year-long process that was stalled by money laundering allegations.

Accendo announced the deal in late 2016, but was forced to put it on hold after a main InvestaBank shareholder was arrested in the United States on charges of laundering more than $100 million.

Mexico’s banking regulator last year cleared the bank of wrongdoing in connection with the U.S. charges, allowing the acquisition to continue, although it slapped the bank with $1.3 million in fines for lesser violations.

“We hope that it will be, at the latest, in June that the process of acquiring Deutsche Bank concludes,” said Gustavo Vergara, who took over Accendo as chief executive in mid-2017.

The entity recently raised its capital from about 378 million pesos ($19.12 million) to 1.11 billion pesos after incorporating new partners, paving the way to purchase the Deutsche assets.

Vergara declined to state the value of the deal.

The InvestaBank shareholder accused of money laundering, Carlos Djemal, later pleaded guilty to wire fraud while the laundering charges were dropped.

InvestaBank was created in 2014 when Investa acquired the local operations of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), and changed its name to Accendo in mid-May. The bank currently has 0.03 percent of the total revenue in the Mexican banking system. (Writing by Daina Beth Solomon, editing by G Crosse)

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