FRANKFURT, June 12 (Reuters) - Frankfurt prosecutors have started a fresh investigation of Deutsche Bank following a complaint about its $1 billion settlement of a long-running case concerning its role in the collapse of the Kirch media empire.
The inquiry, described by prosecutors as “routine”, adds to a litany of legal and regulatory issues facing the bank, which contributed to the resignation of the bank’s two co-chief executives last Sunday.
“The complaint comes from someone who has already brought several complaints against the bank,” a spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office said, confirming a report in the Stuttgarter Zeitung newspaper on Friday.
“We’ve asked Deutsche Bank for the settlement documents; this is a routine investigation,” the spokeswoman said, declining to name the person who brought the complaint or what the exact nature of the complaint was.
Deutsche Bank is cooperating fully with the investigation, a spokesman for Germany’s biggest lender said, declining to give further comment.
Prosecutors this week raided Deutsche Bank offices in a separate investigation into possible tax evasion by bank clients who allegedly used a strategy known as ‘dividend stripping’ to falsely claim credit for tax paid on securities transactions.
Kirch, who died in 2011, blamed Deutsche Bank for his media empire’s 2002 demise, setting off one of Germany’s most acrimonious corporate disputes, which was settled in a deal costing Deutsche about 925 million euros ($1 billion).
Co-Chief Executives Anshu Jain and Juergen Fitschen had faced a crescendo of criticism from shareholders and analysts over the expanding number of legal and regulatory problems confronting the bank in the wake of the financial crisis, which have entailed billions of dollars in fines and settlements.
$1 = 0.8942 euros Reporting by Andreas Kroener; Writing by Jonathan Gould; Editing by Pravin Char