FRANKFURT May 23 Deutsche Bank's
bosses are likely to get a grilling from shareholders on
Thursday about a string of lawsuits and regulatory probes
involving Germany's biggest bank.
Co-chief Executives Anshu Jain and Juergen Fitschen will
address the bank's annual shareholder meeting at Frankfurt's
fair and exhibition centre nearly a year after they took on the
They are trying to steer the group through a major
restructuring programme and have taken great pains to emphasise
a shift toward greater moderation in the bank's approach to
risk-taking. Jain has even agreed to a voluntary pay cut.
Fitschen and Jain are also trying to reshape the bank for an
industry with lower profit margins and higher regulatory costs.
They have taken steps to boost the bank's capital to quash
doubts about its ability to weather financial shocks. Deutsche
earlier this month completed a 2.96 billion euros ($3.9 billion)
The bank's legal and regulatory issues include a probes into
a tax evasion scheme involving trading carbon permits and
allegations of mis-selling complex financial products. Deutsche
is one of a dozen banks being probed for allegedly rigging
benchmark interest rates.
Legal problems forced the bank to increase litigation
provisions for regulatory and legal disputes earlier this year
to 2.4 billion euros ($3.1 billion). The bank had already
announced $4 billion in charges for impairments, and legal
Protesters gathered outside the building in Frankfurt jeered
shareholders arriving for the meeting. Some were calling for an
end to speculation in commodities, a softer approach to
capitalism and for more empathy for the poor.
Nadia Lucas, an activist with protest group Blockupy
Frankfurt was protesting against Deutsche Bank's support for
companies that make components for the arms industry.
"We're here to try and put an end to financing the arms
industry," she said. Another protestor had smeared fake blood on
his face and chest.
Thursday's meeting is the bank's second shareholder
gathering this year. In April, Deutsche was forced to hold a
special shareholder vote after protesters had legally contested
its 2012 annual general meeting. The bank had to put up a
waist-high fence to protect management from angry shareholders,
who demanded an improvement in the group's corporate governance.