(Bloomberg) -- Deutsche Bank AG is bracing for a fine of as much as €10 million ($10.7 million) in Spain after it sold derivatives to clients who later said they didn’t understand the products and suffered steep losses as a result.

The amount is the maximum seen by the German lender in an internal estimate of a fine it expects the Spanish securities regulator CNMV to levy in the matter, people familiar with the matter said. CNMV will probably make a final decision after the summer, one person said, and Deutsche Bank is trying to lower or even prevent the fine, said another. All asked not to be named discussing private information.

Representatives for Deutsche Bank and CNMV declined to comment.

Deutsche Bank used to sell complex foreign-exchange derivatives to small companies in Spain, which claim they bought them without fully realizing that the products exposed them to substantial risks, Bloomberg previously reported. Several of the clients later suffered big losses from the products when currencies developed in unexpected directions. 

The alleged mis-selling has been one of several issues that have continued to weigh on Deutsche Bank’s reputation despite a strong increase in profitability over the past few years under Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing. Several members of the lender’s management board suffered bonus cuts earlier this year over a botched data migration project that cut off thousands of clients from vital banking services.

CNMV said in January that Deutsche Bank was facing “disciplinary proceedings” as it may have provided insufficient advice to clients when selling foreign-exchange derivatives.

Banks must inform potential buyers about the offered products and their associated risks in a clear and impartial fashion, “particularly when they are very complex,” CNMV said in the release at the time. Clients should only be sold products that are “suitable to their needs and investment objectives and, especially, to their risk profile.”

The derivatives sold by by Deutsche Bank in Spain, known as Target Profit Forwards and Pivot TPFs, allow buyers to lock in future currency transactions at more favorable prices than they would otherwise get — but only for as long as the exchange rate of the involved currency pair doesn’t cross a defined threshold. If that happens, the costs rise and can hit very high levels, making the potential downside difficult to predict and hence the products an unusual choice if the buyer’s intention is to hedge against currency risks. 

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