The Business On... Julius Meinl V, Chairman, Meinl Bank

A German banker?

Actually, the family-owned Meinl Bank is Austrian and Mr Meinl himself is British. He was born here and has split his time between homes in this country and Austria – he even drives a Bentley.

Not short of a bob or two then?

No, even if the bank he runs did catch a cold during the financial crisis. Nor is there another venture to fall back on, bar a couple of trophy assets. The coffee chain and fine-foods business that the Meinl family built, and which brought its name to prominence, was sold 10 years ago. Still, it's safe to say Mr Meinl remains comfortable.

Though not for much longer?

Let's not be hasty, although there are a couple of threats to his position. Not least the Austrian authorities, which are still investigating allegations of fraud at Meinl European Land, a separately quoted company managed by the banking group. No charges have ever been brought against Mr Meinl, but he was pulled in for questioning last year before being released on €100m (£82m) bail, which has not yet been returned. Now it has emerged that the board of Meinl European – since renamed Atrium European Real Estate and under new management – is to sue Mr Meinl, the bank and eight other parties, for €2bn (£1.6bn) over the affair. The case will be heard in the High Court in London.

What does Mr Meinl say?

The bank he chairs has yet to receive the law suit, but it is already making it clear that it absolutely refutes the allegations by Atrium. The bank has also pledged to clear the name of Mr Meinl himself in relation to the fraud investigation.

Goodness, it's quite a saga.

Indeed – and in Austria this has been really big news. Last year's arrest of Mr Meinl saw saturation coverage in the media, with critics dubbing him "Austria's Sir Fred Goodwin". Mr Meinl says he has been picked on because he is British – that record bail reflects the fact he has a British passport, a private plane and a pilot's licence – and he has pledged to wage war on those who would besmirch his family name.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Guru Careers: Graduate Resourcer / Recruitment Account Executive

£18k + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a bright, enthusiastic and internet...

Reach Volunteering: Chair and trustees sought for YMCA Bolton

VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED: Reach Volunteering: Bolton YMCA is now a...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher Geography teach...

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?