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Josef Ackermann's acceptance speech

Lifetime achievement award - Josef Ackermann: Banking industry cannot shy away from making tough choices

Josef Ackermann, Deutsche Bank chief executive

I must say, the last couple of years have felt like a lifetime. I never thought in my 30-plus years in banking that I would see such enormous changes as those that our industry has witnessed in the past 24 months. We’ve learnt some tough lessons: the risks in the banking system were greater, and more complex, than anything we imagined. The last estimate of the IMF for losses in the banking industry as a result of the financial crisis was $4 trillion; the banking system is more interconnected than we thought possible – in other words, systemic risk is much greater than we imagined; we have seen government intervention in both banks and markets that is unprecedented at any time since the 1930s; and the public’s trust in banking, and in bankers, has been profoundly shaken.

So, we are witnessing a paradigm change for our industry. Decisions taken over the next couple of years will influence banking for the next generation.

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