Former Bundesbank president takes up job at provincial Russian bank

The former head of Germany's Bundesbank, Ernst Welteke, who resigned in April last year after heavy criticism for accepting a free hotel stay from a commercial bank, has been appointed independent board member at a bank in southern Russia, Russian media reported Friday.

Welteke was invited in November to Tsentr-invest , which ranks 118 in Russia by capital, and was elected to the board at a shareholders meeting this week the business daily Vedomosti reported, citing a statement released by the bank.

A Tsentr-Invest spokesman was not immediately available to comment Friday.

Richard Wallis, a spokesman for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which holds a 25.2 percent blocking stake in the bank, confirmed that Welteke had been appointed. "We always welcome the appointment of independent directors," Wallis said Friday.

He declined to comment on Welteke's departure from the Bundesbank, but called him "an experienced professional."

Pressure on Welteke grew last year after the weekly Der Spiegel reported in early April that he let Dresdner Bank pay a Ђ7,661 hotel bill for him and his family. He was attending a ceremony organized by Dresdner Bank to mark the introduction of euro notes and coins.

Kommersant quoted Welteke as saying that he consulted with international auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Russian central bank before taking the decision.


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