No provisions have been made in respect of certain of the proceedings described below. Disclosure of these details could seriously prejudice the position of the Group.
Due to the nature of its business, the Group is involved in litigation, arbitration and regulatory proceedings in Germany and in a number of jurisdictions outside Germany, including the United States, arising in the ordinary course of business. In accordance with applicable accounting requirements, the Group provides for potential losses that may arise out of contingencies, including contingencies in respect of such matters, when the potential losses are probable and estimable. Contingencies in respect of legal matters are subject to many uncertainties and the outcome of individual matters is not predictable with assurance. Significant judgment is required in assessing probability and making estimates in respect of contingencies, and the Group’s final liabilities may ultimately be materially different. The Group’s total liability recorded in respect of litigation, arbitration and regulatory proceedings is determined on a case-by-case basis and represents an estimate of probable losses after considering, among other factors, the progress of each case, the Group’s experience and the experience of others in similar cases, and the opinions and views of legal counsel. Although the final resolution of any such matters could have a material effect on the Group’s consolidated operating results for a particular reporting period, the Group believes that it will not materially affect its consolidated financial position. In respect of each of the matters specifically described below, some of which consist of a number of claims, it is the Group’s belief that the reasonably possible losses relating to each claim in excess of any provisions are either not material or not estimable.
The Group’s significant legal proceedings are described below.
Tax-Related Products. Deutsche Bank AG, along with certain affiliates, and current and/or former employees (collectively referred to as “Deutsche Bank”), have collectively been named as defendants in a number of legal proceedings brought by customers in various tax-oriented transactions. Deutsche Bank provided financial products and services to these customers, who were advised by various accounting, legal and financial advisory professionals. The customers claimed tax benefits as a result of these transactions, and the United States Internal Revenue Service has rejected those claims. In these legal proceedings, the customers allege that the professional advisors, together with Deutsche Bank, improperly misled the customers into believing that the claimed tax benefits would be upheld by the Internal Revenue Service. The legal proceedings are pending in numerous state and federal courts and in arbitration, and claims against Deutsche Bank are alleged under both U.S. state and federal law. Many of the claims against Deutsche Bank are asserted by individual customers, while others are asserted on behalf of a putative customer class. No litigation class has been certified as against Deutsche Bank. Approximately 95 legal proceedings have been resolved and dismissed with prejudice with respect to Deutsche Bank. Approximately seven other legal proceedings remain pending as against Deutsche Bank and are currently at various pre-trial stages, including discovery. Deutsche Bank has received a number of unfiled claims as well, and has resolved certain of those unfiled claims. Approximately four unfiled claims also remain pending against Deutsche Bank.
The United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) is also conducting a criminal investigation of tax-oriented transactions that were executed from approximately 1997 through early 2002. In connection with that investigation, DOJ has sought various documents and other information from Deutsche Bank and has been investigating the actions of various individuals and entities, including Deutsche Bank, in such transactions. In the latter half of 2005, DOJ brought criminal charges against numerous individuals based on their participation in certain tax-oriented transactions while employed by entities other than Deutsche Bank. In the latter half of 2005, DOJ also entered into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with an accounting firm (the “Accounting Firm”), pursuant to which DOJ agreed to defer prosecution of a criminal charge against the Accounting Firm based on its participation in certain tax-oriented transactions provided that the Accounting Firm satisfied the terms of the Deferred Prosecution Agreement. On February 14, 2006, DOJ announced that it had entered into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with a financial institution (the “Financial Institution”), pursuant to which DOJ agreed to defer prosecution of a criminal charge against the Financial Institution based on its role in providing financial products and services in connection with certain tax-oriented transactions provided that the Financial Institution satisfied the terms of the Deferred Prosecution Agreement. Deutsche Bank provided similar financial products and services in certain tax-oriented transactions that are the same or similar to the tax-oriented transactions that are the subject of the above-referenced criminal charges. Deutsche Bank also provided financial products and services in additional tax-oriented transactions as well. In December 2008, following a trial of four of the individuals against whom DOJ had brought criminal charges in 2005, three of those individuals were convicted. In May 2009, following a trial of four additional individuals against whom DOJ had brought criminal charges based on their participation in certain tax-oriented transactions while employed by an entity other than Deutsche Bank, those individuals were convicted. In June 2009, DOJ brought criminal charges against five additional individuals, based on their participation in certain tax-oriented transactions while employed by entities other than Deutsche Bank, and two former employees of Deutsche Bank based on their participation in certain tax-oriented transactions while employed by Deutsche Bank. DOJ’s criminal investigation is ongoing. Deutsche Bank is engaged in discussions with DOJ concerning a resolution of the investigation.
Kirch Litigation. In May 2002, Dr. Leo Kirch personally and as an assignee of two entities of the former Kirch Group, i.e., PrintBeteiligungs GmbH and the group holding company TaurusHolding GmbH & Co. KG, initiated legal action against Dr. Rolf-E. Breuer and Deutsche Bank AG alleging that a statement made by Dr. Breuer (then the Spokesman of Deutsche Bank AG’s Management Board) in an interview with Bloomberg television on February 4, 2002 regarding the Kirch Group was in breach of laws and resulted in financial damage.
On January 24, 2006, the German Federal Supreme Court sustained the action for the declaratory judgment only in respect of the claims assigned by PrintBeteiligungs GmbH. Such action and judgment did not require a proof of any loss caused by the statement made in the interview. PrintBeteiligungs GmbH is the only company of the Kirch Group which was a borrower of Deutsche Bank AG. Claims by Dr. Kirch personally and by TaurusHolding GmbH & Co. KG were dismissed. In May 2007, Dr. Kirch filed an action for payment as assignee of PrintBeteiligungs GmbH against Deutsche Bank AG and Dr. Breuer. After having changed the basis for the computation of his alleged damages in the meantime, Dr. Kirch currently claims payment of approximately € 1.3 billion plus interest. In these proceedings Dr. Kirch will have to prove that such statement caused financial damages to PrintBeteiligungs GmbH and the amount thereof. In the view of Deutsche Bank, the causality in respect of the basis and scope of the claimed damages has not been sufficiently substantiated.
On December 31, 2005, KGL Pool GmbH filed a lawsuit against Deutsche Bank AG and Dr. Breuer. The lawsuit is based on alleged claims assigned from various subsidiaries of the former Kirch Group. KGL Pool GmbH seeks a declaratory judgment to the effect that Deutsche Bank AG and Dr. Breuer are jointly and severally liable for damages as a result of the interview statement and the behavior of Deutsche Bank AG in respect of several subsidiaries of the Kirch Group. In December 2007, KGL Pool GmbH supplemented this lawsuit by a motion for payment of approximately € 2.0 billion plus interest as compensation for the purported damages which two subsidiaries of the former Kirch Group allegedly suffered as a result of the statement by Dr. Breuer. On March 31, 2009 the District Court Munich I dismissed the lawsuit in its entirety. The plaintiff appealed the decision. In the view of Deutsche Bank, due to the lack of a relevant contractual relationship with any of these subsidiaries there is no basis for such claims and neither the causality in respect of the basis and scope of the claimed damages nor the effective assignment of the alleged claims to KGL Pool GmbH has been sufficiently substantiated.
Asset Backed Securities Matters. Deutsche Bank AG, along with certain affiliates (collectively referred to as “Deutsche Bank”), has received subpoenas and requests for information from certain regulators and government entities concerning its activities regarding the origination, purchase, securitization, sale and trading of asset backed securities, asset backed commercial paper and credit derivatives, including, among others, residential mortgage backed securities, collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps. Deutsche Bank is cooperating fully in response to those subpoenas and requests for information. Deutsche Bank has also been named as defendant in various civil litigations (including putative class actions), brought under federal and state securities laws and state common law, related to residential mortgage backed securities. Included in those litigations are (1) a putative class action pending in California Superior Court in Los Angeles County regarding the role of Deutsche Bank’s subsidiary Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. (“DBSI”), along with other financial institutions, as an underwriter of offerings of certain securities issued by Countrywide Financial Corporation or an affiliate (“Countrywide”), and a putative class action pending in the United States District Court for the Central District of California regarding the role of DBSI, along with other financial institutions, as an underwriter of offerings of certain mortgage pass-through certificates issued by Countrywide; (2) a putative class action pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York regarding the role of DBSI, along with other financial institutions, as an underwriter of offerings of certain mortgage pass-through certificates issued by affiliates of Novastar Mortgage Funding Corporation; (3) a putative class action pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York regarding the role of DBSI, along with other financial institutions, as an underwriter of offerings of certain mortgage pass-through certificates issued by affiliates of IndyMac MBS, Inc.; (4) a putative class action pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California regarding the role of DBSI, along with other financial institutions, as an underwriter of offerings of certain mortgage pass-through certificates issued by affiliates of Wells Fargo Asset Securities Corporation; (5) a putative class action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York regarding the role of a number of financial institutions, including DBSI, as underwriter, of certain mortgage pass-through certificates issued by affiliates of Residential Accredit Loans, Inc., from which DBSI was dismissed without prejudice on March 31, 2010; and (6) a lawsuit filed by the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco (“FHLB SF”) pending in the San Francisco Superior Court regarding the role of a number of financial institutions, including certain affiliates of Deutsche Bank, as issuer and underwriter of certain mortgage pass-through certificates purchased by FHLB SF. In addition, certain affiliates of Deutsche Bank, including DBSI, have been named in a putative class action pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York regarding their roles as issuer and underwriter of certain mortgage pass-through securities. On April 5, 2010, the Court granted in part and denied in part Deutsche Bank’s motion to dismiss this complaint. Each of the civil litigations is otherwise in its early stages.
Auction Rate Securities. Deutsche Bank AG and DBSI are the subjects of a putative class action, filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, asserting various claims under the federal securities laws on behalf of all persons or entities who purchased and continue to hold auction rate preferred securities and auction rate securities (together “ARS”) offered for sale by Deutsche Bank AG and DBSI between March 17, 2003 and February 13, 2008. On March 24, 2010, the court dismissed the putative class action but granted plaintiff permission to file an amended complaint. Deutsche Bank AG, DBSI and/or Deutsche Bank Alex. Brown, a division of DBSI, have also been named as defendants in 16 individual actions asserting various claims under the federal securities laws and state common law arising out of the sale of ARS. Twelve of the individual actions are pending, and four of the individual actions have been resolved and dismissed with prejudice. Deutsche Bank AG was also named as a defendant, along with ten other financial institutions, in two putative class actions, filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, asserting violations of the antitrust laws. The putative class actions allege that the defendants conspired to artificially support and then, in February 2008, restrain the ARS market. On or about January 26, 2010, the court dismissed the two putative class actions, and the plaintiffs have filed appeals of the dismissals.
Deutsche Bank AG and DBSI have also been the subjects of proceedings by state and federal securities regulatory and enforcement agencies relating to the marketing and sale of ARS. In August 2008, Deutsche Bank AG and its subsidiaries, entered into agreements in principle with the New York Attorney General’s Office (“NYAG”) and the North American Securities Administration Association, representing a consortium of other states and U.S. territories, pursuant to which Deutsche Bank AG and its subsidiaries agreed to purchase from their retail, certain smaller and medium-sized institutional, and charitable clients, ARS that those clients purchased from Deutsche Bank AG and its subsidiaries prior to February 13, 2008; to work expeditiously to provide liquidity solutions for their larger institutional clients who purchased ARS from Deutsche Bank AG and its subsidiaries; to pay an aggregate penalty of U.S.$ 15 million to state regulators; and to be subject to state orders requiring future compliance with applicable state laws. On June 3, 2009, DBSI finalized settlements with the NYAG and the New Jersey Bureau of Securities that were consistent with the August 2008 agreements in principle, and DBSI entered into a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) that incorporated the terms of the agreements in principle with the states and contained certain additional terms, including authority by the SEC to seek an additional monetary penalty from DBSI if the SEC believes that DBSI has not complied with its undertakings under the settlement. DBSI has since received proposed settled orders from a number of state and territorial agencies pursuant to which those agencies have claimed their respective shares of the U.S.$ 15 million penalty. DBSI expects to finalize those settled orders and pay the requisite shares of the penalty to the requesting states over the next several months.
Trust Preferred Securities. Deutsche Bank AG and certain of its affiliates and officers are the subject of a consolidated putative class action, filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, asserting claims under the federal securities laws on behalf of persons who purchased certain trust preferred securities issued by Deutsche Bank and its affiliates between October 2006 and May 2008. Claims are asserted under Sections 11, 12(a)(2), and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933. An amended and consolidated class action complaint was filed on January 25, 2010. There is a motion to dismiss pending.