[1/2] Greenpeace activists hang a banner to protest Deutsche Bank and DWS investment policies on Deutsche Bank's headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, June 14, 2023. REUTERS/Tom Sims

FRANKFURT, June 14 (Reuters) - Greenpeace activists scaled Deutsche Bank's (DBKGn.DE) headquarters in Frankfurt on Wednesday and strung up a large yellow banner to protest against the climate investment policies of the German lender and its asset management company DWS.

The action came a day ahead of the annual shareholder meeting of DWS (DWSG.DE), which is mostly owned by Deutsche Bank and has drawn attention from activists and regulators over allegations that it misled investors about "green" investments. DWS has disputed the allegations.

Deutsche Bank said that sustainability and climate protection were "strategic priorities", and that it supports DWS in the development of its sustainability policies and standards.

The German-language Greenpeace banner was unfurled shortly after 6 a.m. CEST (0400 GMT) and stretched across part of the glass facade on the lower section of Deutsche Bank's twin office towers. The banner translated as "Force DWS, protect the climate".

The event drew a half dozen police vehicles, but an officer said there would be no arrests.

Last year, the chief executive of DWS stepped down after raids by prosecutors over the allegations of so-called "greenwashing".

The new CEO, Stefan Hoops, plans to tell shareholders at Thursday's meeting that DWS has been cooperating with investigations, according to a transcript of prepared remarks on its website. The company also continues to stand by its financial disclosures and its fund prospectuses, Hoops will add.

Mauricio Vargas, a Greenpeace finance expert who was standing outside Deutsche Bank's headquarters, said: "DWS's scandal is Deutsche Bank's scandal." He plans to address shareholders on Thursday.

DWS said in a statement that it agreed with Greenpeace that climate change requires decisive action but disagreed on "how to get there". It said it had recently adopted new policies on dealing with coal companies.

Reporting by Tom Sims, Editing by Rachel More and Jamie Freed and Sharon Singleton

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Thomson Reuters

Covers German finance with a focus on big banks, insurance companies, regulation and financial crime, previous experience at the Wall Street Journal and New York Times in Europe and Asia.

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