Deutsche Bank AG (DBK)’s co-Chief Executive Officer Anshu Jain has turned down a request by the German parliament to testify at a hearing about allegations of manipulation in the London interbank offered rate.
Stephan Leithner, Deutsche Bank’s most senior executive for legal affairs and compliance, will attend, company spokesman Christian Streckert said by telephone yesterday. The Bundestag’s finance committee, which listed Jain as a witness in a Nov. 12 statement on its website, will hear representatives of banks and regulators on Nov. 28.
“We explicitly invited Jain to come to speak to us because he was and still is the person overseeing investment banking, the unit where all of this happened,” Gerhard Schick, a Green Party opposition member of the committee, said in a telephone interview. “If he’s not coming now, that’s quite vexing.”
Deutsche Bank is one of at least a dozen banks being probed over allegations of interest-rate rigging. Regulators from Canada to Switzerland are investigating whether banks lied to hide their true cost of borrowing and traders colluded to rig the Libor. The rate is the benchmark for more than $300 trillion of securities and is the basis for interest rates on securities from mortgages to derivatives.
Streckert said Deutsche Bank has “a tradition of assisting the Bundestag in its requests for information and will do so as a matter of course in this instance.”
Hugo Banziger, the Frankfurt-based lender’s former chief risk officer, is also scheduled to testify, as well as officials from the Bundesbank and Bafin, the financial regulator.
Barclays Plc (BARC) Chief Executive Bob Diamond, who also ran his firm’s investment bank before becoming CEO, and chairman Marcus Agius resigned in July after a record 290 million-pound ($462 million) fine for rate manipulation by U.S. and U.K. regulators. Diamond testified before the U.K. parliament.
“Deutsche Bank is looking to keep Jain as far from the Libor scandal as possible but politically it would have been good for him to have attended,” Christian Muschick, an analyst with broker Silvia Quandt Research GmbH in Frankfurt, said by telephone yesterday. “I don’t see a danger that the situation becomes as severe for Jain as it did for Diamond but it could hurt him.”
Jain ran Deutsche Bank’s combined debt and equity sales and trading department from 2004 and was appointed sole head of the investment bank in 2010. He became co-CEO this year.
The bank has said it’s co-operating with regulators in their probes and an internal investigation cleared current and former management board members of any wrongdoing. A limited number of employees had “engaged in conduct that falls short of the bank’s standards,” it said in July.
Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and UBS AG (UBSN) are among lenders awaiting information about their fate. The U.S. Justice Department is handling a criminal probe, running in parallel with civil investigations being conducted by its fraud division, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the U.K. Financial Services Authority.
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