Deutsche Bank, Toronto Refuses
to Comment on Links to Yanukovych
by: Myroslava Stadnyk
On February 6, 2014, a small group of Ukrainian-Canadians picketed Deutsche Bank Toronto branch – expressing their concern over the German bank’s handling of corruption money from Oleksandr Yanukovych, the son of the Ukrainian President. In their response, Deutsche Bank’s representatives ignored the demonstration in front of their Toronto office and refused to address picketers and media.
That day, the entire financial district on Bay Street heard the demonstrators shout “Deutsche Bank, stop laundering Yanukovych’s blood money!” Activists also held anti-Yanukovych banners and laid out fake banknotes dipped in red paint – symbolizing Yanukovych’s government-induced deaths and terror. They continued to attract attention of those passing by on their lunch hour. Deutsche Bank, however, did not take any initiative, other than calling security in dealing with an emerging situation.
Prior to scheduling the picket, Deutsche Bank’s representatives have been notified by fax. Active members of Toronto’s Ukrainian community outlined the time and reasons for the picket. Namely, in their letter, Deutsche Bank was asked to comment on the statement regarding their policies and legal sanctions on anti-money-laundering and corruption prevention programs (which are clearly outlined on their webpage: http://www.db.com/italia/en/content/1361.html).
“Deutsche Bank does not care!” – the picketers continued to call out, once they have received a hostile response from the bank. Precisely, in their response to media calls, Deutsche Bank asked to stop calling them and to leave the area in front of their office.
“Deutsche Bank is a laundry for Ukrainian corruption!” – said one of the activists at the protest. “The bank does not abide by its own rules, and should understand their reputation is sinking” – she continued.
The protest was organized by the Ukrainian Canadian community members, which support their fellow Ukrainians in Kyiv and around the globe in targeting the German’s bank offices and demanding to put an end to enriching the Yanukovych regime. A similar rally was held on Wall Street in New York last week. The anti-Yanukovych demonstrators also picketed Rinat Akhmetov’s home in London, and Mykola Azarov’s family villa in Vienna.
“We will continue expressing our concern over the stolen budget money (possibly through a petition addressed to the bank’s head office) – some $20 billion – which are laundered through Deutsche Bank!” – Emiliya Umrykhina commented when asked on future actions. She added: “We will work with the press and demand the bank addresses its service shortcomings – which currently pose a potential reputational risk.”