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Regulators Reject Qatar-Backed Deutsche Bank Board Member

Regulators Reject Qatar-Backed Deutsche Bank Board Member

Friday, 11 October, 2019 - 06:45
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Deutsche bank is seen in Hong Kong, China July 8, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu/File Photo

In a rare intervention, Deutsche Bank’s regulators are blocking a banker backed by its largest shareholder, Qatar, from a seat on the supervisory board because of a conflict of interest, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

Deutsche Bank chair Paul Achleitner had announced in August the appointment of former UBS (UBSG.S) manager Juerg Zeltner, praising him as a valuable addition and “a top-level European banker with proven expertise”.

Zeltner was also to represent the interests of Qatar’s royal family - a top shareholder in the German lender. KBL is controlled by the same family.

Deutsche’s regulators - the European Central Bank and financial markets watchdog BaFin - have now determined that Zeltner’s position on Deutsche’s board would be a conflict of interest because he is also the chief executive officer of KBL European Private Bankers (KBL epb), a business that overlaps with Deutsche’s.

“It’s a done deal. It is now only a matter of finding a face-saving way out,” the person said.

Deutsche Bank declined to comment.

The regulators’ move comes as a prosecutor told a London court that three former Barclays (BARC.L) executives lied to the market by hiding 322 million pounds ($395 million) in extra fees that the bank paid Qatar in return for vital funding during the global credit crisis.

The case, one of the most high-profile brought by the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO), revolves around undisclosed payments to Qatar as Barclays raised more than 11 billion pounds from investors in 2008 to avert a state bailout.

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