FRANKFURT (Reuters) - One of Deutsche Bank AG’s top investors slammed Germany’s largest bank on Thursday for its plans to raise 8 billion euros (6.52 billion pounds) in new equity while being dogged by a long list of scandals and investigations.
Frankfurt-based Union Investment said Deutsche Bank needed to re-examine its corporate governance practices after bills for fines and settlements rose to more than 5 billion euros in the past two years.
“Much investor trust has been wasted. The capital hike is not helping,” said fund manager Ingo Speich at Union Investment in the text of a speech to be delivered at the bank’s annual shareholders’ meeting.
“When is this nightmare finally going to end?” Speich said. “Stockholders and investors are losing their patience with legal battles, fines and breaches of corporate governance and compliance.”
Deutsche Bank has defended plans to raise the 8 billion euros in the run-up to the meeting, less than a week after the surprise announcement.
Fines, settlements and hefty restructuring costs connected to a sweeping strategic overhaul have hampered the bank’s ability to retain enough profit to fortify its finances ahead of a pan-European regulatory health check of banks slated for later this year.
The meeting will not be asked to vote on the share issue, for which investor approval is not required, though management will seek assent for a proposal permitting senior staff to receive bonuses worth twice their base pay, in line with European Union rules.
Union Investment said it would vote for management proposals, except for the option of a share buyback, saying it wanted any surplus capital returned to shareholders.
Union Investment is the investment manager for Germany’s large cooperative banking sector and one of the country’s largest fund firms
Editing by David Holmes