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Deutsche Bank wants former bosses to pay for past misconduct

Flags with the logo of Deutsche Bank at the company’s headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany. Photo: Reuters

Flags with the logo of Deutsche Bank at the company’s headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany. Photo: Reuters

Deutsche Bank expects former board members to pay substantial sums for their role in past misconduct which has tarnished the reputation of Germany’s biggest lender, its chairman Paul Achleitner said yesterday.

Achleitner told shareholders at Deutsche Bank’s annual general meeting that the supervisory board and two committees were discussing the need for personal and collective responsibility and the bank had sought external legal advice.

“The supervisory board expects that in the coming months, there will be an arrangement which ensures that the individuals involved make a substantial financial contribution,” he said, adding that while no decision had yet been reached, talks were at an advanced stage.

Achleitner did not name any names but people close to Deutsche Bank said that the supervisory board is in talks with former co-chief executives Anshu Jain and Juergen Fitschen, as well as other former top managers.

Jain and Fitschen did not immediately respond to e-mailed requests for comment from Reuters.

If Deutsche Bank reaches settlements with former executives, it would mark a significant step in efforts to break with a turbulent period in the bank’s 147-year history.

Deutsche Bank transformed itself into a major player on Wall Street over the past two decades but extravagant bets and poor conduct have resulted in a litigation bill of €15 billion since 2009. And while rivals spent the years after the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers cleaning up and finding new business models, Deutsche Bank was slow to restructure and improving compliance.

Talks are focusing on why Deutsche Bank’s own response was so slow, as well as its involvement in a series of financial scandals, the Deutsche Bank sources said.

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