Deutsche Bank’s mounting legal costs led to open conflict on the supervisory board, with the deputy chairman publicly criticizing another member, Georg Thoma, for going too far in probing potential wrongdoing.
“Thoma increasingly faces criticism for his overzealousness and judicial self-fulfillment,” Alfred Herling, a labor representative on the 20-member supervisory board, was cited as saying by Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. “He is overshooting by calling for ever broader investigations and deploying even more lawyers.”
Bloomberg News reports that Deutsche Bank Chairman Paul Achleitner, who has known Thoma for decades, tapped the Shearman & Sterling lawyer in 2013 to help improve controls and work through the company’s numerous cases of misconduct. The bank’s costs and provisions for fines and lawsuits have topped $13.5bn since then, wiping out profits in those years and weakening the bank’s capital ratios.
Herling, reached by phone on Monday, confirmed the comments attributed to him by the newspaper and said he had nothing to add.
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