How Deutsche Bank’s excessive green investments threaten a new setback after a decade of failure
However, there appears to have been a conflict of interest behind the scenes in investigating Fixler’s claims.
While PwC was brought in to investigate Fixler’s allegations, the accounting firm did not contact them and based their report solely on data collected by DWS, the Financial Times reported. In another matter, the “Big Four” company received €300,000 for advising DWS on its net zero strategy during the setup of its probe.
Controversially, outgoing CEO Woehrmann fired Fixler in March 2021 on the grounds that her department had not made sufficient progress towards the asset manager’s green investment goals. Fixler then sued for wrongful dismissal, but lost the case in January.
But it is not the first time that Wöhrmann, whose resignation will take effect on June 9, has been in the public eye.
In early 2021 he was embroiled in a scandal for four years earlier he had used a personal email account extensively for corporate business and transferred 160,000 euros (£136,000) to a Deutsche Bank client. Both parties later said the transaction was part of an unsuccessful attempt to buy a Porsche.
For Germany’s largest lender, the failure of its ethical realignment could trigger a crisis that is just one in a long list of scandals.
In September 2016, the US Department of Justice fined $14 billion. A year later, it paid $630 million to US and UK authorities to settle a money laundering case in Russia.
Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank has been struggling to regain its footing since the financial crisis, which is why it has been ranked as the world’s largest bank by assets.
Revenue is currently down a quarter from all-time highs, while the company has shed a fifth of its workforce — 18,000 jobs — and closed its global equities business.
Sewing, meanwhile, is struggling to implement plans to merge Deutsche Bank with another European lender to meet Germany’s ambitions of having a European banking champion to rival its more successful American counterparts. In 2019, he pulled the plug on a potential merger with Commerzbank, Germany’s second largest lender.
As Deutsche Bank deals with the latest crisis, new DWS boss Hoops is sure to have a large stack in his in-tray.