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Deutsche Bank: Shrinking to greatness?

Deutsche Bank’s restructuring has not been thrown off course by the pandemic, but upside surprises can hide risks. Discipline will be needed to avoid the temptations of the past.

Deutsche Bank chief executive Christian Sewing. Photo: Reuters

Two years into Deutsche Bank’s restructuring plan, and things are looking better than many had expected. As Euromoney’s story this month notes, the past 12 months saw the firm’s investment bank revenues rise 19%, on a par with the best performing of the bank’s US peers.

Are things finally turning around? And how sustainable is the performance? There are a few reasons to be hopeful, and others to be cautious.

One source of hope is that the withdrawal from much of the equities business that formed part of the plan unveiled by chief executive Christian Sewing in July 2019 appears to have so far defied the doubters.

Particularly after Archegos, exiting prime brokerage by transferring its business to BNP Paribas doesn’t seem like the worst idea in the world.

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