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Deutsche Bank wants former bosses to pay for past misconduct

Reuters  |  FRANKFURT 

By Tom Sims and Arno Schuetze

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - expects former board members to pay substantial sums for their role in past misconduct which has tarnished the reputation of Germany's biggest lender, its chairman Paul Achleitner said on Thursday.

Achleitner told shareholders at Bank's annual general meeting that the supervisory board and two committees were discussing the need for personal and collective responsibility and the had sought external legal advice.

"The supervisory board expects that in the coming months, there will be an arrangement which ensures that the individuals involved make a substantial financial contribution," he said, adding that while no decision had yet been reached, talks were at an advanced stage.

Achleitner did not name any names, but people close to told that the supervisory board is in talks with former co-chief executives Anshu Jain and Juergen Fitschen, as well as other former top managers.

Jain and Fitschen did not immediately respond to emailed requests for comment from

If reaches settlements with former executives, it would mark a significant step in efforts to break with a turbulent period in the bank's 147-year history.

transformed itself into a major player on Wall Street over the past two decades, but extravagant bets and poor conduct have resulted in a litigation bill of 15 billion euros ($16.7 billion) since 2009.

And while rivals spent the years after the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers cleaning up and finding new business models, was slow to restructure and improving compliance.

Talks are focusing on why Bank's own response was so slow, as well as its involvement in a series of financial scandals, the sources said.


The has settled its most painful litigation cases, including alleged manipulation of interest rates and sham equities trading in Russia, which surfaced as late as 2015.

And at the end of last year it finally settled with the U.S. Department of Justice for mis-selling toxic mortgages, agreeing to pay $7.2 billion.

The tried to salvage its reputation with the publication in February of an unprecedented apology in the form of an open letter signed by its CEO John Cryan.

"We will do everything in our power to prevent a repetition of such incidents," Cryan wrote in the letter.

And Bank, which Cryan said failed over the last two years to communicate its actions to the public, is now launching a social media campaign to rebuild its image.

"I am firmly convinced that our does a great deal of good," Cryan told shareholders. "People hardly see that any more -- indeed, we've forgotten how to see it ourselves."

In another sign of increased communication, granted Germany's top two television stations access to executives for long reports that aired this week.

ZDF broadcast its version, a 45-minute documentary entitled "Inside - Giant with no Future?" on Wednesday and focused in part on the turnover of top management.

Sylvie Matherat, one of the bank's newer board members, said it was getting a much-needed electric shock.

($1 = 0.8992 euros)

(Editing by Maria Sheahan and Alexander Smith)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)