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ATHENS, April 8 (Reuters) - Cyprus-based RCB Bank denied on Friday that a reported decision by Deutsche Bank to disengage from the Cypriot lender was connected to the Panama Papers affair.
Bloomberg news agency reported earlier Friday that Deutsche Bank had decided to end ties with RCB and disengagement would be expedited after Britain's Guardian newspaper alleged that the Cyprus-based bank helped a person close to Vladimir Putin to amass fortunes, citing the massive data leak from a Panama-based law firm last weekend.
RCB has denied any wrongdoing and said the individual, named as musician Sergei Roldugin, had never been a client either directly or as a beneficiary in any company maintaining an account with the bank.
"RCB Bank categorically denies any connection between the Panama Papers affair and the choice of Deutsche Bank to disengage from its clearing business in some regions," RCB said in an emailed statement to Reuters.
"We were informed about Deutsche Bank's decision well before the Panama Papers affairs. More specifically, we were informed about this decision, which we understand forms part of Deutsche's change in strategy, on March 21, 2016."
RCB's cooperation with Deutsche Bank is still in force during a transition period, the bank said.
Reporting By Michele Kambas; Editing by David Goodman