Deutsche Bank bosses resign following Libor manipulation scandal

Surprise announcement that Anshu Jain and Jürgen Fitschen will step down comes one month after Deutsche was fined £1.7bn for Libor rigging

The two joint chief executives of Deutsche Bank are to step down, in an unexpected move that comes shortly after the investment bank was fined for its role in Libor manipulation and criticised for its conduct.

After an unscheduled meeting held by the bank’s supervisory board on Sunday, the German lender said that Anshu Jain would leave at the end of this month, with Jürgen Fitschen staying on until the bank’s annual meeting in 2016. Jain will continue to advise the bank as a consultant until January.

Paul Achleitner, chairman of the supervisory board, said: “I would like to express our gratitude and respect for the contributions that Jürgen and Anshu have made to our bank. Due to their decades of commitment, Deutsche Bank attained its leadership position. Their decision to step down early demonstrates impressively their attitude of putting the bank’s interests ahead of their own”.

The surprise move came just over a month after Deutsche was fined a record $2.5bn (£1.7bn) for rigging Libor, ordered to fire seven employees and was accused of being obstructive towards regulators in their investigations into the global manipulation of the benchmark rate.

Georgina Philippou, the acting director of enforcement and market oversight at the Financial Conduct Authority, said at the time: “Deutsche Bank’s failings were compounded by them repeatedly misleading us. The bank took far too long to produce vital documents and it moved far too slowly to fix relevant systems and controls”.

The penalties on Germany’s largest bank also involved a guilty plea to the Department of Justice (DoJ) in the US and a deferred prosecution agreement. Jain was head of its investment bank during the alleged Libor rigging, but the bank has said he has been cleared of any wrongdoing.

Deutsche said that John Cryan, the British former chief financial officer of UBS, will replace Jain as co-chief executive. When Fitschen departs he will not be replaced, leaving the 54-year-old Briton in sole charge.

Cryan has been a member of Deutsche Bank’s supervisory board since 2013, and has served as chairman of the audit committee and a member of the risk committee. He will step down from the supervisory board after taking up his new role.

Achleitner added: “We are pleased to have appointed John Cryan as co-chief executive officer. John is not only a seasoned banker with extensive experience in financial matters but also espouses the professional and personal values required to advance Deutsche Bank and [its new] Strategy 2020. He knows the bank well, and we are convinced that he is the right person at the right time”.

At the end of April, Jain unveiled Strategy 2020, which the bank said was “focusing Deutsche Bank to deliver value”. It also promised a “proactive stance on future regulatory direction and robust controls” and set a series of financial “ambitions”, designed to bolster shareholder returns.

Investor frustration about the bank’s performance became obvious last month when, at the annual meeting, 39% voted against Deutsche’s management board, and several investors called for Jain and Fitschen to resign.


Simon Goodley

The GuardianTramp

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