BERLIN Nov 22 German politicians accused
Deutsche Bank's co-CEO Anshu Jain of "chickening out"
after the bank decided to send his chief compliance officer in
his place to a parliamentary hearing on Libor manpulation next
Politicians from the Social Democrats (SPD) and Greens
attacked the decision not to send Jain, an Indian-born banker
who became co-head of Germany's largest bank in June, to a Nov.
28 finance committee hearing.
"Mr. Jain is chickening out," said Green party politician
Gerhard Schick, calling the decision not to attend
Deutsche Bank will instead send Stephan Leithner, head of
personnel and compliance. Jain was head of the investment bank
at the time the alleged manipulation took place.
The move could add tension to an already strained
relationship between bankers, who prefer to keep out of the
public eye, and politicians, who are eager to show their
constituents they are cracking down on the freewheeling world of
In the United States, Goldman Sachs Chief Executive
Lloyd Blankfein faced a barrage of politically charged questions
at a Senate Governmental Affairs Subcommittee about the causes
of the financial crisis.
The Green party had invited Jain personally, not Deutsche
Bank as an institution, Schick said on Thursday.
"You can't treat parliament like this," he added.
Lothar Binding, financial spokesman for the SPD said Jain
had made a "bad decision".
"In a sense this is symptomatic of bankers, who want to be
powerful in the background, but then duck away when the public
wants to know what they are up to," Binding said.
Birgit Reinemund, chair of the committee and a member of the
business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP), acknowledged that
Deutsche Bank had not given a reason for the switch but said it
was not unusual.
In a statement, Deutsche Bank said. "We have a tradition of
assisting the Bundestag in its requests for information and will
do so as a matter of course in this instance."
The European Commission and other international regulators
are investigating more than a dozen banks for alleged
manipulation of the London interbank offered rate (LIBOR), which
is used to set the price of trillions of dollars worth of
financial products worldwide.
Any banks found guilty of breaching EU antitrust rules could
face fines of up to 10 percent of their global revenues.
Deutsche Bank said in July initial findings from an internal
probe into alleged rigging of global interest rates found that
no members of the management board behaved