Deutsche Bank to clip investment banking wings | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 19.02.2018
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Business

Deutsche Bank to clip investment banking wings

Deutsche Bank is cutting at least 250 investment banking jobs in locations including London and the United States as it seeks to keep a lid on expenses amid a sustained slide in its securities unit.

Germany's biggest commercial bank was about to lay off at least 250 employees in its corporate and investment banking division, the news agency Reuters reported Monday.

Quoting a person familiar with the matter, Reuters said that the total number of job losses could rise to as many as 500, mainly affecting senior and mid-level investment banking positions.

Read more: Opinion: Deutsche Bank — will it ever get any better?

According to Bloomberg News, other people with knowledge of the matter said the bank had trimmed positions in locations including London and the US in the past two weeks. They reportedly included Marc Benton, who oversaw European energy investment banking, and Evans Haji-Touma, who focused on sovereign wealth and public pension funds.

The corporate finance unit for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, led by Alasdair Warren, felt some of the cuts, too. The departures also included Andrew Tusa, co-head of UK corporate brokering and Jonathan Gold, a senior financial institutions banker in London, the people said.

Deutsche Bank's corporate and investment banking unit employed 17,251 front office full-time staff at the end of last year. But many of the unit's problems are in its trading business, where fixed-income revenue dropped 29 percent and equities declined 25 percent last quarter.

Weak trading conditions

Deutsche's investment bank division has struggled with weak trading conditions, especially at the end of 2017, as well as damage done to the bank's brand as it went through capital raises and strategic reviews.

Trading at the unit slumped 27 percent last quarter and fees from advising on deals and arranging debt and equity sales dipped 3 percent. The declines, coupled with bonus payments that CEO John Cryan said were on the "generous" side, helped push the business into the red.

Read more: Deutsche Bank expects loss after US tax law

Now, staff that gets their marching orders will probably be ineligible for payouts as the bank makes them redundant before announcing its 2017 bonus round on March 16.

Read more: China's HNA group cuts stake in Deutsche Bank

The Frankfurt, Germany-based lender is in the process of cutting 9,000 jobs group-wide from 2015 levels, or around one in 10 staff, with 4,000 jobs expected to go in Germany. It plans to save €3.8 billion ($4.7 billion) in gross costs from 2018. At its 2017 full-year results presentation, the bank admitted it would not make this year's cost targets, triggering a 6 percent fall in its share price on the day.

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