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Deutsche Bank co-CEOs say they will stay on: paper

[BERLIN] The co-chief executives of Deutsche Bank ruled out stepping down despite criticism from investors over a series of fines and legal problems that have hit the bank, in an interview published in a German newspaper.

The bank, fined a record US$2.5 billion for manipulating benchmark interest rates, is due to face shareholders at its annual investor meeting on May 21.

Shareholder advisory firm ISS has said Deutsche Bank investors should not exonerate the executive board of Germany's biggest lender.

Anshu Jain, co-chief executive of the bank, said he expected some criticism from shareholders at the meeting, but that he would not be stepping down. "The best I can do is solve the problems of the bank and improve its performance," Mr Jain said in an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. "This mission is not yet complete." Mr Jain told the paper he expected not as many investors as usual would back a traditional AGM resolution to exonerate management but that he was confident the majority of shareholders would still back the board.

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The paper said in an excerpt of the article that chief executive, Juergen Fitschen, also brushed aside any suggestion of him stepping down as he sits on trial in connection with the 2002 collapse of the Kirch media empire. "Like every citizen, a manager also has the risk of being brought before court," he said, when asked when the time would come for him to step down in light of the fact he is on trial. "I believe in the rule of law and take a more relaxed view of the trial than you seem to in your question," he added, repeating that the accusations against him of giving misleading evidence were baseless.