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Bonus scandal adds to woes at BGB

Klaus Landowsky

If you're desperately trying to pocket a bigger bonus than you know you deserve, do as the Gesellschaftler in Berlin did. Approve some dodgy credits (take some political donations on the way, too, if you are in the right party) reduce the risk provisions for the loans, then wait until profits amass in the next year, and voila - the bonus is yours to collect.

In the case of the Bank-gesellschaft management these bonuses amount to Dm8 million (e4.1 million), one million more than in 1999. And yes, this is the same Bankgesellschaft Berlin (BGB) that found a hole of Dm3.2 billion on its books last year. According to one Berlin newspaper two thirds of the Dm8 million were "success bonuses" paid to the top management. That probably refers to their success in keeping their jobs. The CEO Wolfgang Rupf was confirmed in office in July after getting the BGB into the biggest banking mess in Germany's history.

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