Deutsche’s private bank-powered turnaround continues apace
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WEALTH

Deutsche’s private bank-powered turnaround continues apace

Four years ago, Christian Sewing set out to give the German bank new direction. His plan, based on income-rich services like private banking, continues to surprise and succeed. Euromoney caught up with the head of International Private Bank, Claudio de Sanctis, to discuss last year’s financials and his plans in Asia and the Middle East.

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Claudio de Sanctis, International Private Bank

There’s nothing like a bank turnaround plan that actually turns a bank around.

In 2019, Deutsche Bank posted a loss of €5.7 billion ($6.08 billion), taking into account payments for additional tier-one bonds.

In 2022, the German lender posted net profit of… €5.7 billion. That was a 15-year high that beat analyst predictions by more than €1 billion.

Yes, that number was aided by a €1.4 billion deferred tax revaluation that boosted its post-tax return on average tangible shareholders’ equity to 9.4%. But it’s also what happens when you set out a plan that you have the patience and fortitude to execute.

Overhaul

Nearly four years ago, chief executive Christian Sewing embarked on a voyage to overhaul a lumbering financial behemoth that had lost its sense of identity and destiny, by making it relevant and competitive again.

He pledged not to ask shareholders for more money, or to merge with Commerzbank. He shed businesses that weren’t profitable enough – notably shutting down a majority of equities sales and trading – and shifted resources to facets of the business in which the bank could lead.


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