The European Central Bank pressured Deutsche Bank to name a successor to Achleitner

Europe’s largest banking regulator is pressing Deutsche Bank to speed up its search for a successor to head Paul Achleitner, who will leave in May 2022 when his second five-year term ends.

The European Central Bank has repeatedly urged Germany’s largest bank to come forward with a clear succession plan in recent months, people familiar with the matter told the Financial Times.

“Corporate governance is a major organizational priority [for the ECB]One person said,” adding that succession was a key issue for discussion between the bank and the regulator.

The person added that the ECB wanted to be involved in the decision but was concerned that Deutsche would present the nomination as a fait accompli before next year’s annual shareholder meeting.

Reuters was the first to report the news. The regulator and the bank declined to comment.

Achleitner will leave Deutsche next year after a difficult 10-year period during which Deutsche reported cumulative losses of 12 billion euros, raised 19.5 billion euros in new capital and announced five strategic reorganizations.

Its shares lost 60 percent of their value during that period. However, since Christian Swing was appointed CEO in 2018 and embarked on ambitious cost cuts and a partial retreat from investment banking, performance has improved.

Mayrie Clark, a member of Deutsche’s supervisory board since 2018 and founder and former managing partner of US investment fund Echoen Capital, manages the Achleitner succession.

She replaced Achleitner as chair of the Nominations Committee on the Supervisory Board last summer.

The bank has clashed with regulators several times in recent years. In 2019, the European Central Bank issued veto Nomination for Deutsche’s board of directors is Jörg Zeltner, a former senior banker at UBS who was also head of the Qatar-backed European private banking group KBL, a direct competitor to Deutsche.

organizers pressed too Sewing to give up his role as head of the investment bank, a change that was finally announced earlier this year.

In April, German regulator BaFin publicly scold Deutsche’s weak anti-money laundering controls. The watchdog expanded and extended the mandate of an umbrella special representative to the bank in 2018 to monitor the bank’s progress in tightening its internal controls.

People familiar with Deutsche’s succession process said Clark has been in regular contact with the European Central Bank.

Internally, three members of the bank’s supervisory board – called the “Three Ws” – are seen as possible candidates: Theodor Weimer, chief executive of Deutsche Boerse, former PwC Germany chief Norbert Winkeljohan, and former Volkswagen chief financial officer. Wagen Frank Witter.

Weimar can only take the position if he resigns from Deutsche Boerse, where he had a contract until 2024. At a press conference earlier this year, he dismissed the idea, saying it was “not at all a topic for discussion.” Achleitner succeeds. Weimer declined to comment through Deutsche Börse.

Winkeljohann is already the president of German chemicals giant Bayer and a member of two other supervisory boards.

Witter, who was head of Volkswagen’s financial services division before becoming its chief financial officer, joined Deutsche’s board just last month. Neither of them immediately responded to a FT’s request for comment. Ashleitner and Clark declined to comment.

The news that the European Central Bank is unhappy with Deutsche’s handling of the succession process is another problem in a week as two top bankers were Resigned On Investigation In the possible wrong sale of foreign exchange derivatives that drove corporate clients in financial trouble.

In addition, Deutsche Investors warn On Thursday, a court ruling over bank account fees in Germany would close a €300m hole in full-year profit. Chief Financial Officer James von Moltke has also hinted that Deutsche may fail to meet its cost-cutting target for 2022, as bank charges next year are likely to be higher than previously planned.

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