April 6, 2014 / 12:10 PM / in 4 years

Deutsche Bank chairman backs co-leaders Jain, Fitschen -magazine

* Sup. board “fully backs” management board - Achleitner

* Co-CEOs “have steered bank into right direction” - Achleitner

* But board has succession plan if worst comes to worst - Achleitner

BERLIN, April 6 (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank Chairman Paul Achleitner has given strong support to the German lender’s twin leaders who have been embroiled in a number of scandals, magazine Der Spiegel reported on Sunday.

“The supervisory board fully backs the board of management,” Achleitner told the weekly publication in an interview.

“Anshu Jain and Juergen Fitschen are doing a very good job and have steered the bank into the right direction through numerous corporate decisions since they were appointed as co-chief executives,” Achleitner said.

Germany’s flagship lender is working through a long list of investigations and fines that have resulted from the global financial crisis.

A 12-year legal battle with the heirs of media mogul Leo Kirch was settled in February, costing Deutsche Bank about 925 million euros ($1.27 billion).

Now prosecutors are investigating whether Fitschen, his predecessors Josef Ackermann and Rolf Breuer, and several others gave misleading evidence in the civil suit brought by Kirch’s heirs.

“We stand by our employees in loyalty,” Achleitner told Der Spiegel. “The presumption of innocence still applies in this country.”

Asked by the magazine whether he has made arrangements in case ongoing investigations add further pressure on the bank’s leaders, Achleitner said the supervisory board has “like every other good supervisory board a succession plan. After all, something can happen to any individual.” ($1 = 0.7303 euros) (Reporting by Andreas Cremer, editing by David Evans)

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