German bank ‘cuts ties’ with Selfridges co-owner

Deutsche Bank has reportedly cut ties with Austrian billionaire René Benko, who co-owns Selfridges.

The bank – which is the largest lender in Germany – has stepped away from the real estate tycoon over concerns about his involvement in a corruption investigation, according to a report by the Financial Times.

Benko also co-owns German department store KaDeWe, as well as the Chrysler Building in New York city.

The newspaper said that sources close to the matter had revealed that the bank decided in late 2022 to end its relationship with the billionaire.

They said, however, that Deutsche Bank has continued its banking relationship with German department store Galeria Kaufhof, which Benko is also linked to. The retailer filed for bankruptcy protection last year.

The move comes after Benko was identified as a suspect in an Austrian corruption case which has involved both politicians and well-known businessmen.

The scandal involved Austria’s former chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who stepped down amidst the probe. Benko, who was also recently cleared for another unrelated case relating to bribery charges, has denied any involvement.

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