Deutsche Bank says faces around 1,000 big lawsuits

FRANKFURT Thu May 22, 2014 8:40am EDT

Anshu Jain (L) and Juergen Fitschen (R), co-CEOs of Deutsche Bank AG and Paul Achleitner, head of the supervisory board, pose for the media prior to a shareholders meeting in Frankfurt May 22, 2014. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

Anshu Jain (L) and Juergen Fitschen (R), co-CEOs of Deutsche Bank AG and Paul Achleitner, head of the supervisory board, pose for the media prior to a shareholders meeting in Frankfurt May 22, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Ralph Orlowski

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) gave shareholders a sense of the size of its legal and regulatory problems on Thursday, when it said it faced around 1,000 major lawsuits.

Stefan Krause, the bank's finance chief, said that the bank had paid around 350 million euros ($478 million) in legal advisory fees in 2013 alone as the bank works to free itself from investigations and lawsuits that have followed the financial crisis.

"We are involved currently in around 1,000 suits that have a value of over 100,000 (euros)," Krause told shareholders at the bank's annual general meeting. He said the total number of lawsuits was more than 6,000.

"We are expecting continued headwinds from legal matters."

Germany's largest bank is facing an array of investigations into the conduct of its employees. A jump in litigation costs was partly responsible for weak earnings in 2013 and also for its performance so far this year, putting pressure on co-Chief Executives Anshu Jain and Juergen Fitschen.

Deutsche Bank has already had to pay more than 5 billion euros ($6.9 billion) over the past two years for settlements and fines stemming mostly from the financial crisis. The bank has set aside another 1.8 billion euros in anticipation of more pain this year.

It is also dealing with a large number of regulatory investigations and demands. Deutsche Bank faces 180 various cases with supervisors, Krause said.

One event, such as the global investigation into alleged manipulation of benchmark interest rates, may count as more than one case if more than one regulator is involved, a spokesman for the bank said.

Deutsche is aiming to raise 8 billion euros ($11 billion) in a capital increase to help to fortify its finances ahead of a regulatory health check due later this year.

(Reporting by Thomas Atkins and Arno Schuetze. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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