ECB tells Deutsche Bank to find new chairman fast – sources
11 Jun 2021

The European Central Bank has asked Deutsche Bank a number of times in recent months to name a successor to chairman Paul Achleitner as the end of his term nears, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

Achleitner is due to retire next May after 10 difficult years in office that saw two changes of CEO, billions of euros of losses and huge fines.

The 64-year-old has survived three shareholder votes on whether to oust him but said he will go next year.

With less than a year to go, the bank’s supervisor, the ECB, is still waiting for Deutsche to identify a successor and has ratcheted up pressure on Germany’s biggest bank and its chairman in recent months, the people said.

The ECB’s chief supervisor Andrea Enria has addressed this question multiple times in ongoing high-level communication with the bank, said one of the people, who is an official with direct knowledge of the matter.

Deutsche Bank declined to comment.

Deutsche has recently returned to profit but remains under the close watch of regulators who guard the health of the global financial system, of which the bank, as one of the world’s biggest lenders, is a critical part.

In particular, they have been concerned by lapses in Deutsche’s money laundering controls – a problem that extends back throughout Achleitner’s tenure.

In a major setback for Deutsche, Germany’s financial watchdog BaFin in April ordered it to enact further money laundering safeguards and extended a mandate for a special monitor to keep track of progress.

The ECB is making the repeated demands because it wants Achleitner to leave in an orderly fashion, with the central bank having enough time to vet the candidate to replace him, the people said.

Three people familiar with the bank’s search for a successor said there was a shortlist of three German men, with one adding that Deutsche would be ready to announce a successor by February or March next year. Such a late date would leave little room for manoeuvre if the candidate were to fall through.

The three said that German stock exchange chief Theodor Weimer was the preferred candidate.

By Patricia Uhlig and Tom Sims, Reuters, 11 June 2021

Read more at Reuters

Photo: World Economic Forum [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0] via Flickr

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