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Deutsche clears chairman of blame for bank's poor cooperation in Libor case: paper

FRANKFURT Deutsche Bank has cleared its chairman of accusations by shareholders that he was partly to blame for the bank’s poor cooperation with authorities over alleged rate-rigging, daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung has cited financial sources as saying.

Last year, Deutsche Bank agreed to settle a case over the alleged manipulation of interbank rates such as Libor for a record $2.5 billion with U.S. and British authorities, which had accused the lender of obstructing their investigations.

Some shareholders subsequently accused Chairman Paul Achleitner and other board members of being responsible for the bank’s poor cooperation, which led to it having to pay more to settle the case than other lenders.

Now an internal probe has concluded that Achleitner did not breach his duties in the handling of a probe into rate rigging, the paper said in a preleased version of its Monday edition, without naming its sources.

Deutsche Bank declined to comment.

A motion calling for an additional external investigation was voted down at the annual general meeting in May.

Any evidence of wrongdoing would have made it an uphill battle for Achleitner to secure a second term as chairman.

Several shareholders said on Friday that an extension to Achleitner’s contract was anyhow imperiled by Deutsche’s poor earnings and faltering share price.

Deutsche is still investigating some former top executives, the paper said.

(Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

Reuters