March 6, 2009 / 4:32 PM / 11 years ago

Hypo Real ex-CEO triggers outrage with pay lawsuit

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MUNICH/BERLIN, March 6 (Reuters) - A lawsuit by bombed-out German bank Hypo Real Estate’s HXRG.DE former chief executive seeking more than $4 million in pay has sparked outrage by critics.

Labour union Verdi called Georg Funke’s bid “shameless” while shareholder activist group DSW said on Friday his legal action displayed a “skewed perception” of reality.

The news follows last week’s political furore in the UK when it emerged that former Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) chief executive Fred Goodwin left on an early pension package paying him more than 650,000 pounds a year, despite presiding over the bank’s descent into effective nationalisation.

Funke was in charge when the German property lender and investment bank nearly collapsed last year. HRE was saved only by more than 100 billion euros ($126.4 billion) in aid, mostly from taxpayers.

Faced with sharp criticism of his managment, the bank announced in October he would leave and said in December it was terminating his contract.

Funke has now sued to get the pay he says he is still owed, a court spokesman in Munich said. HRE’s 2007 annual report said Funke earned 800,000 euros in basic salary and got profit-related compensation of 1 million.

He was entitled to 560,000 a year in annual pension under his contract than originally ran until 2013.

Funke’s attorney, Franz Ludwig Heiss, was not immediately available for comment on the case. ($1=.7909 euros) (Reporting by Peter Maushagen and Matthias Sobolewski; Writing by Michael Shields; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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