Struggling Deutsche Bank to slash 18,000 jobs
Frankfurt, Germany – Germany’s struggling Deutsche Bank said Sunday it will cut 18,000 jobs by 2022, downsizing its volatile investment banking division in a sweeping restructuring aimed restoring consistent profitability and improving returns to its shareholders.
The Frankfurt-headquartered bank said it would cut roughly a quarter of its total cost base through steps such as dropping the investment bank’s stock-trading business.
It will also slim down its division focused on fixed-income investments. By doing that, the bank is to focus on areas with steadier earnings such as serving corporate customers.
The bank would also create a separate unit to dispose of investments that are less profitable or no longer fit its strategy. The bank said it did not expect to have to raise additional capital from shareholders.
The job cuts would reduce the workforce to 74,000. The bank would not say where the cuts would fall; many of its investment banking activities are carried out in New York and London.
The move follows the failure of merger talks with German rival Commerzbank. Deutsche Bank said the combination would not make business sense, but that left open the question of what strategy the bank could pursue to make its business leaner and more profitable.
For years, Deutsche Bank has struggled with regulatory penalties and fines, weak profits, high costs and a falling share price. The bank went three straight years without turning an annual profit before recording positive earnings for 2018. CEO Christian Sewing took over last year and promised faster restructuring after predecessor John Cryan was perceived to have moved too slowly to restructure the bank.
The bank paid billions in fines and settlements related to behavior before and after the global financial crisis, including a $7.2 billion settlement in 2017 with the Justice Department over selling bonds based on mortgages to people with shaky credit. But that hasn’t ended the negative headlines. Two congressional committees have subpoenaed Deutsche Bank documents as part their investigations into President Donald Trump and his company. Deutsche Bank was one of the few banks willing to lend to Trump after a series of corporate bankruptcies and defaults starting in the early 1990s.
Trump had sued Deutsche Bank to stop the subpoenas, but a judge in May ruled against the president.