Banker Liability

Deutsche Bank Freezes Bonuses

Source: DPA
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  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    If Deutsche Bank withholds bonuses for its senior executives, it could send a signal to hold bankers more directly accountable for global financial crises.

  • Facts


    • Deutsche Bank has said it will withhold some bonus payments for several executives until several law suits are settled.
    • None of the affected executives have been charged with wrongdoing.
    • The bonus payments were due to be paid in August.
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Germany’s Deutsche Bank is withholding bonus payments for several senior executives, including co-chief executives Anshu Jain and Jürgen Fitschen, Handelsblatt has learned.

The bank’s supervisory board, which has the power to hire and fire the chief executive, is holding back the money until several legal disputes engulfing the bank are resolved, according to industry sources.

The decision is an unprecedented one for the banking industry. Several banks have cancelled bonus payments for bankers who have failed to hit targets or been found guilty of misconduct, but Deutsche Bank has held back bonuses as a precautionary measures.

The bank is currently facing several investigations, ranging from accusations that some of its traders, like many in other banks, colluded to fix the Libor exchange rate, to charges that it broke U.S. sanctions to do business in Iran. Mr. Fitschen and four former executives are also facing obstruction of justice charges related to the long-running dispute with the Kirch media empire.

Deutsche Bank’s executives voluntarily waived their bonuses at the height of the financial crisis in 2008, but this is the first time they have been ordered to do so.

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