Sacked German banker in legal victory

15th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

The fired former head of Germany's biggest casualty of the financial crisis won a partial legal victory on Friday when a court awarded him two months' worth of lost salary.

The court in Munich ruled that Georg Funke was within his rights to claim 150,000 euros (211,000 dollars) in back pay after he was unceremoniously sacked from the since nationalised Hypo Real Estate (HRE) in late 2008.

At the time, Chancellor Angela Merkel's government desperately cobbled together the state-led rescue of the bank worth more than 100 billion euros to prevent its collapse from triggering a chain reaction throughout the entire German banking system.

It remains to be seen, however, whether Funke will also succeed in his effort to claim several million euros more in lost salary and pension payments. A court will rule on this next year.

His legal action has prompted outrage among disgruntled former shareholders of the bank, many of whom lost heavily in the collapse of HRE.

His claims have echoes of the case of former Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) head Fred "the Shred" Goodwin in Britain whose 700,000-pound (825,000-euro, 1.1-million-dollar) pension sparked public anger.

Goodwin, who came to symbolise the "fat cat" greed of bankers blamed for the worst financial crisis in generations, and whose Edinburgh house and Mercedes car were vandalised, eventually agreed to a 40-percent pension cut.

© 2010 AFP

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