By Thomson Reuters
Deutsche Bank plans to cut 18,000 jobs in a sweeping, 7.4-billion-euro overhaul designed to turn around Germany’s struggling flagship lender.
The plan represents a major retreat from trading by Deutsche Bank, which for years had tried to compete as a major force on Wall Street.
The bank will scrap its global equities business and scale back its investment bank. It expects a 2.8 billion euro ($3.1 billion) net loss in the second quarter as a result of restructuring charges.
Beyond the expected cutbacks to equities, Deutsche said it would also axe some of its fixed income operations, an area traditionally regarded as one of the bank’s strengths.
It will create a new unit to wind-down unwanted assets, with a value of 74 billion euros of risk-weighted assets.
Chief executive officer Christian Sewing flagged an extensive restructuring in May when he promised shareholders “tough cutbacks” to the investment bank. The pledge came after Deutsche failed to agree a merger with rival Commerzbank.
The overhaul, one of several over the past few years, signals that Deutsche is coming to terms with its failure to keep pace with Wall Street’s big hitters such as JP Morgan Chase & Co and Goldman Sachs.
Last week, the head of Deutsche’s investment bank Garth Ritchie agreed to step down, marking a sign of the division’s waning influence.
Sewing called the package the “most fundamental transformation” of the bank in decades. “This is a restart,” he said.
Media reports had suggested that Deutsche Bank could cut as many as 20,000 jobs — more than one in five of its 91,500 employees.
In the event, the bank said it would reduce headcount to 74,000 employees by 2022.
The bank did not disclose a geographic breakdown of the job cuts. The equities business is focused largely in New York and London.
A person with direct knowledge of the matter said job cuts would be distributed around the world, including in Germany.
The bank’s supervisory board met on Sunday to agree the proposed changes, one of the biggest announcements of job cuts at a major investment bank since 2011 when HSBC said it would axe 30,000 jobs.
Stephan Szukalski, head of the DBV union, told news agency Reuters that the measures were in the right direction.
“This could be a real new beginning for Deutsche Bank,” said Szukalski, who also sits on the bank’s supervisory board.