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Deutsche Bank reports best quarter in seven years

While doubling of profit at the investment bank stood out, it was not the bank’s only strong performer.

Christian Sewing, CEO of Deutsche Bank. Photo: Reuters

The mood music around Deutsche Bank has changed.

For the first quarter of 2021, it delivered its best financial results for seven years, with a pre-tax profit of €1.6 billion (€1 billion after tax), well ahead of analyst expectations, and a return on tangible common equity (RoTE) of 7.4% on a strong common equity tier-1 (CET1) ratio of 13.7%.

Suddenly, management’s aims to deliver an 8% post-tax return in 2022 and then start handing back €5 billion of capital to shareholders look almost conservative, instead of highly ambitious.

One big number and another smaller one stood out.

The investment bank more than doubled its profits compared with the exceptional first quarter of 2020, despite more normal levels of turnover in rates, foreign exchange and emerging markets, businesses for which the bank is renowned.

It appears that concentrating on your key strengths can pay off. Who knew?

This time, it did particularly well in credit trading and financing, and also origination and advisory, where the bank believes it has increased market share globally by 30 basis points, an unusual achievement for any European bank.


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