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Deutsche Bank faces probe over alleged snooping operation

07 July 2009  |  5128 views  |  0 biometric  eye

An investigation commissioned by Deutsche Bank has revealed that Germany's largest bank spied on several of its management board members, supervisory board members and on at least one shareholder, according to German magazine Der Spiegel.

The 150-page report was prepared by legal firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. It uncovered evidence of a massive covert snooping operation run by the bank's corporate security department, says Der Spiegel.

The bank allegedly hired private detectives to spy on Gerald Herrmann, an official from the Ver.di services union who had a seat on Deutsche Bank's supervisory board and was suspected of leaking the bank's third quarter results to a Reuters journalist.

At first the bank had only admitted comparing travel data such as hotel stays to establish a link between Herrmann and the Reuters' reporter. But the snooping operation went much deeper, according to Der Spiegel, as the security department hired external detectives to monitor him and other board members and at least one troublesome shareholder. The investigators are alleged to have compiled detailed reports and looked for personal weaknesses such as alcohol problems or gambling.

Deutsche Bank itself now faces the prospect of lawsuits from individual caught up in the spying and a probe by data protection officials in the western state of Hesse and financial watchdog BaFin.

Probe shows Deutsche Bank spied on board member and shareholder - Der Spiegel
KeywordsLEGAL

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