Deutsche delays move on managers

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The Independent Online
FRANKFURT - Deutsche Bank took the unusual step yesterday of putting off seeking approval from shareholders for the actions of senior managers who granted large loans to the fugitive property developer Jurgen Schneider, writes John Eisenhammer.

The delay has been ordered while awaiting the outcome of an internal bank investigation into its relations with Mr Schneider's now-bankrupt property group.

The heads of Deutsche's main mortgage unit, Centralboden, which handled the bulk of the Schneider credits, as well as Georg Krupp, a main board member, are all affected by the delay. In Germany shareholders are asked each year formally to release management from responsibility for their actions over the preceding period. Failure to provide such exoneration need not have any consequences but it amounts to moral censure.

Hilmar Kopper, chief executive of Deutsche Bank, has not ruled out changes at the highest levels, should the investigation justify them. Mr Krupp said the investigation would be completed next month.

Mr Schneider disappeared last month, leaving debts worth more than DM5bn ( pounds 2.07bn). By the end of last year, Mr Schneider and his wife Claudia held properties valued at DM2.9bn.

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