Not sure how we missed this, but apparently Deutsche Bank spied on management, board members and one "troublesome" shareholder in particular a few years back. Not that big a deal, say the Germans, but now that there's the possibility of a lawsuit they've told the guy they're sorry, have put it out there that they'd love to forget it ever happened and wondered aloud whatever is German for "we cool?" during one incredibly awkward phone call.
The bank had external helpers investigate a shareholder believed to have links with Kirch -- Michael Bohndorf, a lawyer who resides on the island of Ibiza. The investigators compiled detailed reports on his movements and even looked into whether he had any personal weaknesses: alcohol, gambling, women? One insider reports that the agency resorted to hiring women to test him.
For years, Bohndorf has been annoying Deutsche Bank by asking dozens of questions at annual shareholder meetings and taking legal action if his questions aren't answered. The bank has already informed Bohndorf of the spying operation and apologized for it. Bohndorf couldn't be reached by SPIEGEL last week by the time the current issue went to press.
Data protection officials in the western state of Hesse, the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) and possibly even the public prosecutor's office in Frankfurt will now have to check whether any laws were broken in the snooping operations.
Many members of Deutsche Bank's supervisory board have little doubt that laws were broken. And they're particularly worried about the Michael Bohndorf case. The litigious shareholder has proved that he doesn't shy away from suing the company.
Clearly DB would never have gotten away with pulling a stunt like this on everyone's favorite fractional bank owner Evelyn Davis, who'd cut a bitch (CEO) for stepping into her den (believe Ken Lewis, he's tried).