The chief executive of German state bank WestLB has stepped down along with the head of the bank’s risk management, Matthijs van den Adel, because of an alleged cover-up of the loss of millions of euros from illegal equity trading deals. The bank has confirmed that chief executive Thomas Fischer is out and has been replaced by Alexander Stuhlmann, the former head of HSH Nordbank.
WestLB has previously said it expects losses from the deals to amount to nearly 250 million euros. The management crisis could lead to the bank’s sale. It is owned by the local government of North Rhine-Westphalia and politician Gerhard Papke does not think what has happened should not have an effect on its value. He said: “WestLB as a whole is in perfect condition in spite of these unpleasant events which will be fixed quickly. I’m sure that there are a lot of investors interested in WestLB.”
Among the potential foreign investors that have been speculated about in the German media are Royal Bank of Scotland, Rabobank of the Netherlands and BNP Paribas.