Deutsche Bank whistleblower rejects $8m reward on principle

Argued that innocent shareholders, not senior executives, were footing the bill...

The former Deutsche Bank AG risk offer who blew the whistle on the lender overvaluing a derivatives portfolio has turned down an $8.25 million (€7.3m) award for his efforts.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) offered Eric Ben-Artzi the amount from the total $55m fine Deutsche Bank paid in a settlement, but he was unhappy with the fact the commission didn't go after senior executives.

Writing in a Financial Times column pubished today, Ben-Artzi argued that the settlement announced by the SEC in May 2015 penalised shareholders, while allowing the top brass to retire with multi-million dollar bonuses intact.

The mathematician wrote that he didn't want his share of a $16.5 million payout, stating:

"I will not join the looting of the very people I was hired to protect."

He added that his ex-wife and his lawyers had claims to a "portion" of the money.

When asked by Bloomberg, Deutsche Bank officials declined to comment and an SEC spokesman didn't reply to a request outside of business hours.

During the global financial crisis, Deutsche Bank misstated financial reports and failed to take into account a material risk for potential losses in the billions of dollars.