DEUTSCHE Bank is facing an uphill battle at its annual general meeting (AGM) later this month, as a new note from an influential adviser has urged investors to reject the German bank’s management board.
ISS told Deutsche shareholders not to approve the board’s actions in 2014, citing its failings in the Libor rigging scandal and its co-chief executive’s involvement in a fraud trial.
Deutsche Bank paid a record $2.5bn (£1.62bn) Libor fine last month, while co-chief executive Jurgen Fitschen appeared in court last week but denied the charges against him. Fitschen, along with fellow co-CEO Anshu Jain, have come under pressure to take some responsibility for the huge hits from Libor related fines.
“The bank’s unsatisfactory risk management [of] Libor-related issues — including the level of co-operation with investigating bodies . . . directly led to larger penalties and thus larger losses for shareholders — for which the management board bears ultimate responsibility,” ISS wrote in a note printed in the Financial Times.
Nevertheless, ISS also said that Deutsche Bank was not the only bank to encounter difficulties with regulators, adding that neither the bank’s management nor its supervisory board had been found to have “any knowledge of misconduct [in relation to Libor] at the time it was taking place.”
The adviser added that Deutsche shareholders should not withhold their approval of the bank’s supervisory board, as many of its members joined after the Libor-related wrongdoing finished.