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Banking

CEO Sewing hails quarter of ‘unprecendented change’ at Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank is showing it can cut leverage exposure in its corporate and investment bank without slashing revenues. It has a long way to go in its pursuit of acceptable returns, but the new management team is demonstrating an early determination to deliver.

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Judging by how well Deutsche Bank executives think the bank is already progressing with its cost cutting and efficiency drive, it is almost as though it was on the right track under the previous management. But that can’t be right. Indeed, newish chief executive Christian Sewing took care on Wednesday to point out to analysts that the bank’s latest results are what people can expect under “this management team”.

Sewing, reporting his first quarter at the helm after former chief executive John Cryan left in early April, was all discipline and delivery. But the first job was to set the scene.

It had been “a quarter of unprecedented change in our bank,” he said – a bold claim for a bank with a history as turbulent as Deutsche’s. The resilience illustrated was evidence of a “new decisiveness of management to deliver on promises in all areas,” he added.

So what had changed? Revenues were almost flat at group and corporate and investment bank (CIB) level, but pre-tax profits fell by 14% and 22%, respectively. It is the only one of the big global banks to have reported pre-tax declines so far this quarter, but that was still a better result than had been expected by analysts and it comes in the wake of a strategic reshaping of the CIB that was announced in April.


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