c, the affair struck at the heart of a country still struggling with its past identity where spying on citizens in the Communist East was a matter of course. How the bank will weather these latest charges is one question. What impact the investigations will have on stakeholders is another that affects not only the future of Deutsche Bank but also its reputation and credibility as a major player on the world financial stage.
The four cases of surveillance concern a nuisance shareholder, an investigative journalist, a supervisory board member suspected of leaking information, four senior bank managers and a private person who sent threatening letters to Deutsche Bank board members. Among the targets of the surveillance were Gerald Herrmann, a former union leader and supervisory board member who was suspected of leaking sensitive company information to the media. Michael Bohndorf, an activist shareholder who has been critical of the bank; and Hermann-Josef Lamberti, Deutsche Banks chief operating officer. The Bank launched its own investigation in the spring of 2009 and by mid-summer the affair had been turned over to BaFin, the German financial regulator. The investigative results were passed to the German data protection authority who has in turn submitted them to the German public prosecutors office.
Tactics employed by the bank included media reports that detectives hired by Deutsche Bank were instructed to test Lambertis security consciousness by trying to plant a GPS tracking device in his car and sending a bouquet of flowers containing an inactive microphone to his home. Bohndorf, the activist shareholder, said that private investigators posed as vacationers and spied on his home on the Spanish island of Ibiza after he asked a number of provocative questions at a Deutsche Bank shareholders meeting in 2006. His contention was that detectives tried to determine if he had a weakness for women by setting up a "honey trap" operation that involved a chance