FRANKFURT (Reuters) - A dispute has arisen on Deutsche Bank’s supervisory board over what some members view as the bank’s legal counsel’s over-zealous response to scandals it has been embroiled in, Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung reported.
Counsel Georg Thoma is responsible for coordinating responses by managers to regulators investigating the bank’s role in interest rate-rigging and precious metals price-fixing scandals.
“He exaggerates when he demands ever wider (internal) investigations and ever more lawyers are deployed,” the paper quoted deputy supervisory board head Alfred Herling as saying.
It quoted a second supervisory board member, Henning Kagermann, as saying: “Though all imaginable care has been taken, it is important for us that Deutsche Bank finally closes this chapter and looks to the future with full force again.”
Most board members were in agreement over this, Kagermann added.
Accountability for a failure to cooperate with authorities will be a major topic at the bank’s annual general meeting on May 19, the paper said.
Thoma, who heads the integrity committee of the bank’s supervisory board, may also attempt to put himself forward to replace supervisory board chairman Paul Achleitner, it said, without citing sources.
Neither Thoma nor his firm, Shearman & Sterling, were contactable by telephone on Sunday and they did not reply to e-mails. A Deutsche Bank spokeswoman declined to comment.
One shareholder recently added four items to the meeting’s agenda, including a call to decide whether possible claims for damages should be pursued in a special examination against Achleitner and other supervisory and executive board members over their role in the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) case.
Should results of an internal investigation turn out to be unsatisfactory, shareholders could withdraw from Achleitner the role of directing the AGM discussion on this issue, the paper wrote.
Reporting by Andreas Kroener, writing by Vera Eckert, editing by John Stonestreet