The Financial Times reports that Robin Saunders, WestLB's head of the bank's London-based principal finance business, looks like being drawn into the German probes into the bank's exposure to the BoxClever TV rental company. The BoxClever deal has cost the bank dearly, with loan provisions which could eventually be as high as £500m. German state prosecutors are said to be looking at whether any of the bank's officials are guilty of 'breach of trust' for not having enough collateral in place when the deal was done.
Although prosecutors have said that 'further details of the events to be examined and those regarding the possible responsibility of individual people at WestLB cannot currently be revealed', inevitably Ms Saunders' name has been linked to the inquiry. Her unit was, after all, party to the deal. In truth, however, it is difficult to see how the City deal-maker can be blamed. The BoxClever deal was apparently approved by the bank's full board. In the final analysis, surely the ultimate decison-makers should carry the can, if, indeed, there is a can to carry.
WestLB confirmed that it was co-operating with the prosecutors and said that the inquiry was 'not unusual considering the complexity' of the BoxClever deal.
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