Deutsche Bank A.G. has filed a lawsuit in Hong Kong against a former Chinese executive for $6.3 million.
In a complaint filed with Hong Kong’s Court of First Instance, the German bank alleged that former Asia Pacific head of global banking and China chairman Zhang Hongli breached fiduciary duty when he transferred $4 million into an account at China Merchants Bank in Shenzhen. The filing did not give the date of the transfer. Deutsche Bank is seeking to recover the full transfer amount, plus interest of $2.3 million.
The funds were transferred to an account tied to a company called Harperskille Ltd. Deutsche Bank said it had authorized the transfer only because of “misrepresentations” made by Zhang, who also goes by Lee Zhang, although it did not say why Zhang made the transfer or what exactly were those misrepresentations. Deutsche Bank also claimed that Zhang conspired with Harperskille to harm the bank by “unlawful means” but did not give details of those means.
Zhang is currently vice president of state-owned Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd., China’s largest bank. He joined ICBC in 2010 after working at Deutsche Bank for nearly a decade. In 2004, he was part of the Deutsche Bank team advising Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. as an underwriter on its $19 billion Hong Kong initial public offering.
Lawyers at Allen & Overy, who are representing Deutsche Bank on the suit, could not immediately be reached for comment. A spokesman in Hong Kong for Deutsche Bank declined to comment. ICBC could not be reached for comment.