HSH Nordbank commissions auditor to ensure full transparency about payments to Goldman Sachs

Hamburg/Kiel, September 22, 2009 - HSH Nordbank has commissioned a firm of auditors in order to ensure that all issues relating to payments made to Goldman Sachs are worked through independently.

“I have asked the auditors from KPMG to analyze the decision-making process at the time as well as all related events to a full extent,” said CEO Dirk Jens Nonnenmacher.

In early November 2008, the Bank decided to pay USD 45 million to investment bank Goldman Sachs in order to settle a transaction . Whether or not the entitlement to this payment had already been forfeited was disputed, and would have had to be settled at court. Against the backdrop of the highly sensitive conditions underlying the financial market and of the international liquidity bottleneck in connection with the insolvency of investment bank Lehman Brothers a decision was made to avoid potentially damaging litigation.

In a market setting characterized by concerns that further banks in addition to Lehman might not be able to meet their payment obligations, the intention was that expected market rumors about HSH Nordbank's capability should be given no opportunity from the outset to develop. Consequently, at the time the Bank authorized the payment with the aim of averting substantially greater material and non-material damage.

"We want to, and shall, establish transparency around the decisions and all the processes in place at the time," said CEO Nonnenmacher.

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