Fri, Dec 06, 2013 - Page 15 News List

Tokyo branch of Deutsche Bank hit by dining scandal

AFP, TOKYO

Japanese police yesterday arrested a salesman at a Deutsche Bank unit on suspicion of bribery over claims he lavishly wined and dined a senior pension fund manager, officials and reports said.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department arrested Shigeru Echigo, a 36-year-old employee at Deutsche Securities, the investment banking arm in Tokyo of Germany’s biggest lender.

Officers also arrested Yutaka Tsurisawa, 60, a former executive of the corporate pension fund for subsidiaries and affiliates of major Japanese trading house Mitsui & Co.

Tsurisawa was seconded to the fund from Mitsui until May, according to the trading firm, which said it was “truly regrettable” that a former official was arrested.

Echigo allegedly offered payment in kind of hundreds of thousands of yen (thousands of US dollars) to Tsurisawa, in return for the pension fund’s decision to buy financial products worth about ¥1 billion (US$10 million), a local police official said.

The official did not elaborate further, but Jiji Press news agency and public broadcaster NHK said Tsurisawa had been taken to entertainment spots in Tokyo.

Senior officials of corporate pension funds are considered public servants under Japanese law.

Business in Japan is frequently done over meals or drinks, and socializing with clients or potential customers is regarded as normal practice.

While outright bribes are less common and particularly frowned upon, the rules governing where the line is drawn on hospitality are hazy, and the arrest will have sent a chill through Tokyo’s financial community.

Japanese media also reported the nation’s financial watchdog was expected to recommend the Japanese Financial Services Agency take disciplinary measures against Deutsche Securities for offering extravagant entertainment to more than one pension fund manager.

No immediate comment was available from Deutsche Securities.

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