According to sources close to Deutsche Bank, it plans to reduce its business in US equities, prime brokerage, and equity derivatives. The move is intended to please its stakeholders who seem to be quite upset over the bank’s recent performance.
The bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Christian Sewing, announced the decision to its shareholders at the annual meeting held Thursday. He said that Deutsche Bank is gearing up for “tough cutbacks” at its investment bank unit. The move is being looked at as a desperate attempt to reassure its shareholders that things can be turned around, even as the company’s shares have hit the lowest so far.
At the meeting, Sewing did not reveal more details on what parts of the bank’s US business likely to suffer reductions and when the cuts are expected to be brought into effect. Deutsche Bank refused to comment on the matter.
However, sources close to the bank revealed that the bank’s US equities business has been suffering a continual blow since some time now and that a majority of the proposed US cuts is likely to happen in this loss making unit as well as in cash equities trading. More cutbacks are also being anticipated in other business areas such as US rates trading.
Meanwhile, it is not yet clear as to how badly the cutbacks are likely to affect the existing manpower in these units. The bank currently employs 9,275 US personnel.
Deutsche Bank’s US trading and investment banking operations unit has been suffering losses since quite some time now and its fate has been in question ever since. Some reductions in the business were implemented last year; however, shareholders have been pushing for further cuts over and above them since then.
The bank too had been denying reports all along of further streamlining its US operations and had maintained its “firm commitment” to its US franchise, as indicated in a memo issued to the bank staff in April this year. Things took a turn for the worse with the failure of merger talks between Deutsche Bank and its German rival, Commerzbank AG. This prompted the former to come up with “Plan B” – with cuts in its US business on top of the agenda.