After receiving the final report of the investigation, that the law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in Frankfurt has conducted on its behalf, Deutsche Bank (XETRA: DBKGn.DE / NYSE: DB) today presented its key results and first steps of corrective and disciplinary action.
The investigation involved questionable investigative or surveillance activities which originated in the Bank's Corporate Security Department going back as far as 1998.
The principal findings by the law firm are as follows:
- Four incidents that raise legal issues such as data protection or privacy concerns have been identified.
- In all incidents, the activities arose out of certain mandates performed by external service providers on behalf of the Bank's Corporate Security Department.
- The incidents were isolated and no systemic misbehaviour has been found.
- There is no indication that present members of the Management Board have been involved in any activity that raise legal issues or have had any knowledge of such activities.
- In incident number one, going back to the year 2001, the subjects affected by the activities were a member of the Supervisory Board and a journalist; in incident number two, which took place in the summer of 2006, the subject was a shareholder, in incident number three (end of 2006/early 2007) it was a private individual, who had issued threats to board members, and in incident number four (summer 2007) a member of the Management Board.
- With respect to two incidents (No. two and four) the Data Protection Authorities are currently conducting a probe to establish whether there was an administrative infraction (Ordnungswidrigkeit) of the German Data Protection law. In parallel the Office of the State Prosecutors in Frankfurt has been asked by the Data Protection Authorities to establish whether to also open a criminal inquiry.
- The activities which focused on a member of the Supervisory Board were aimed at identifying the source of a leak of confidential information to a journalist with a view to preventing a future re-occurrence. The Supervisory Board member involved was thought to be a potential source of the leak. This was not corroborated by any evidence.
- The activities with regard to the shareholder were initiated to determine the motivation for his litigious conduct vis-a-vis the bank. They originated from a conversation between the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Bank and the Global Head of Investor Relations after the Annual General Meeting 2006. The investigations by the external service providers came to the conclusion that the shareholder was acting on his own and the findings with regard to his motives were inconclusive.
- The mandate given regarding the private individual was intended to obtain a photograph of the person as a security precaution in the event that he pursued his written threats to visit Management or Supervisory Board members at their homes. The person could not be traced.
- The incident involving a member of the Management Board related to an exercise conducted by an external service provider with the intention of testing, and possibly improving, the effectiveness of the protection of the Bank's top management.
- All four incidents originated from mandates initiated to achieve legitimate goals, but, during the course of these mandates, the external service providers retained by the Bank engaged in questionable activities.
Deutsche Bank has informed all persons affected by the aforementioned activities (with the exception of the private individual whose whereabouts are unknown) and expressed its sincere regrets.
The Bank has initiated steps to strengthen controls for the mandating of external service providers by its Corporate Security Department and their activities. The Bank has also terminated the contracts with the Head of Corporate Security for Germany and the Global Head of Investor Relations, who were involved in the incidents.
Prior to giving a full report of the events, making a final judgment on the aforementioned incidents and taking further corrective action the Bank intends to await the completion of the still ongoing investigations by the BaFin, the Data Protection Authorities of the State of Hessen and the Frankfurt State Prosecutors’ Office.
This release also contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts; they include statements about our beliefs and expectations and the assumptions underlying them. These statements are based on plans, estimates and projections as they are currently available to the management of Deutsche Bank. Forward-looking statements therefore speak only as of the date they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update publicly any of them in light of new information or future events.
By their very nature, forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. A number of important factors could therefore cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement. Such factors include the conditions in the financial markets in Germany, in Europe, in the United States and elsewhere from which we derive a substantial portion of our trading revenues, potential defaults of borrowers or trading counterparties, the implementation of our strategic initiatives, the reliability of our risk management policies, procedures and methods, and other risks referenced in our filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Such factors are described in detail in our SEC Form 20-F of 24 March 2009 under the heading "Risk Factors." Copies of this document are readily available upon request or can be downloaded from www.deutsche-bank.com/ir .