November 7, 2017 / 2:23 PM / 9 months ago

Munich prosecutor investigates banker on suspicion of tax evasion

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Prosecutors are investigating the head of Germany’s savings banks association over allegations of tax evasion, the Munich public prosecutor said on Tuesday.

Georg Fahrenschon, who is one of Germany’s most prominent bankers as president of the German Savings Banks Association (DSGV), said in a statement that he paid his taxes late but denied breaking any law.

German savings banks, owned by local governments, play a major role in the economy, together operating some 18,530 branches and employing about 320,000 people.

Fahrenschon, a former politician and finance minister for the state of Bavaria, said that he filed his tax returns for the years 2012 through 2014 in 2016.

“This is a failure that I regret very much,” Fahrenschon said. “This is especially true considering that I am fully aware of my function as a role model.”

Fahrenschon, who has been president of the association since 2012, was scheduled to stand for re-election on Wednesday for another six-year term.

He told German daily Handelsblatt that he still plans to stand for re-election.

“The members will make the decision,” he said in an interview with the paper. “I believe that we have done good work as a team at the helm of the DSGV. I hope this good work will be recognized by the members.”

Reporting by Tom Sims, Andreas Framke and Hans Seidenstuecker; Editing by Greg Mahlich and David Goodman

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