Deutsche Bank’s DWS is being sued by a consumer group for alleged greenwashing By Stocksak

© Stocksak. FILEPHOTO: Deutsche Bank’s new logo, DWS Asset Management, is pictured at their headquarters, Frankfurt, Germany, March 19, 2018. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

FRANKFURT (Stocksak), – Monday was Monday for a German consumer group that said it is suing Deutsche Bank (ETR:) DWS, the asset management unit of ETR, was accused of misrepresenting green credentials in marketing materials.

The suit comes as U.S., German and German officials are looking into reports and a whistleblower’s claims that DWS exaggerated the sustainability and investments it sold – a practice known to be greenwashing.

DWS, which has denied mislead investors repeatedly, rejects the allegations of the consumer group, which represents consumers throughout Baden-Wuerttemberg. The group claimed that it filed a suit against DWS Sept. 26 before a Frankfurt court. A hearing was set for March 10.

The suit was filed by the group in connection to the DWS Invest ESG Climate Tech Fund. It claims that DWS told investors in marketing materials that it invested 0% in controversial industries such as coal.

The group claims that this was “confusing” for consumers, as the material also stated fund holdings could include companies earning up to 15% from that industry.

“The question here is if this is obvious to everyone,” Niels Nauhauser said, who oversees financial topics for the group.

DWS refutes these claims, stating that it takes great care when preparing marketing material.

“We have examined the documents in focus in detail and remain convinced that the DWS advertising communications…comply with the legal requirements,” DWS said.

DWS is just one of many lawsuits filed by the consumer group against financial companies for allegedly exaggerating their green credentials.

After German prosecutors raided DWS and Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt, Asoka Woehrmann was fired as chief executive officer of DWS. They were investigating allegations of greenwashing investments and misleading investments.

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