Deutsche Bank Confirms Massive Job Cuts as New CEO Christian Sewing Plants Flag

Deutsche Bank AG (DB) shares extended declines Thursday after it confirmed plans to shed as many as 7,000 jobs as it slims down its equity trading business in an attempt to refocus its efforts in Europe and stem years of losses at Germany's biggest lender.

Deutsche Bank said its global staff would fall "well below 90,000" following the job cuts, most of which would take place in London and New York, adding that other business reductions and restructuring would reduce the bank's overall leverage by 10%, or €100 billion, by the end of the year. The bank's overall cost base is expected to fall to €23 billion this year and €22 billion in 2019, Deutsche Bank said, although "no further significant disposals" are currently planned.

"We remain committed to our Corporate & Investment Bank and our international presence - we are unwavering in that," said new CEO Christian Sewing in a statement ahead of the bank's annual general meeting in Frankfurt. "We are Europe's alternative in the international financing and capital markets business. However, we must concentrate on what we truly do well."

Deutsche Bank shares were marked 2.33% lower by late morning in Frankfurt, compared with a 0.12% gain for the DAX performance index, and were changing hands at €10.64 each. The move puts the stock's year-to-date decline past 33% compared to the 4.61% decline for the Stoxx Europe 600 Banks index.

Christian Sewing: "A bank can only be successful if it is part of society. We are trustee to our clients, we manage their risks. We are part of the infrastructure of this country. We are part of this country." #dbagm pic.twitter.com/fz5aiD0bal

— Deutsche Bank (@DeutscheBank) May 24, 2018

"The Management Board reaffirms its target of a post-tax return on tangible equity (RoTE) of approximately ten percent in a normalised business environment," the bank said. "Although results in 2018 will reflect the impact of the aforementioned actions, including planned restructuring charges of up to €800m, the bank aims to deliver steady growth in return on capital over the coming years."

The bank signalled it was planning "significant" job cuts for its global investment banking division new CEO Sewing, including a retreat from some non-European markets, as it moves to slash costs and trim its balance sheet following a weak first quarter earnings report, which showed net income falling to €120 million, down 79% from the same period last year. 

"Our Corporate & Investment Bank is also doing well in some areas and held or gained market share in certain areas," Sewing said. "However, we are not strong enough in other areas of this business. Therefore we have to act decisively and to adjust our strategy. There is no time to lose as the current returns for our shareholders are not acceptable."

The bank's core tier one capital ratio, a measure of the cash it can set aside to cover potential losses, slipped 60 basis points from the end of last year to 13.4%.

Sewing, a longtime Deutsche Bank executive, replaced the beleaguered John Cryan last month after a boardroom battle stemming from the bank's inability to execute a turnaround plan following an €8 billion rights issue that marked a new corporate-wide strategy designed to halt years of losses and a sustained share price slump.

In February, Deutsche Bank said it would list the Deutsche Asset Management Unit (DWS) arm on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange "in the earliest available window" and likely use the cash to bolster its balance sheet and regulatory capital position as Cryan rolled the dice on his final major decision as head of Europe's biggest lender.

Deutsche Bank, however, has lost more than two thirds of its market cap over the past five years and more than 30% since it unveiled its capital raising plan on March 2 2017 and said it would sell around €80 billion in legacy assets from its Global Markets division following a $7.2 billion settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice linked to with the bank's mortgage bond activities in the run up to the global financial crisis.

More from Markets

A Hungry Grizzly Bear Is Stalking the Stock Market

A Hungry Grizzly Bear Is Stalking the Stock Market

Tesla Has Lost 15% Since Musk's Take-Private Tweet

Tesla Has Lost 15% Since Musk's Take-Private Tweet

Why Most Americans Like a Volatile Stock Market: Study

Why Most Americans Like a Volatile Stock Market: Study

Should Retirees Invest in the Tech Sector?

Should Retirees Invest in the Tech Sector?

Here's How to Trade Walmart, Nordstrom, Macy's and J.C. Penney After Earnings

Here's How to Trade Walmart, Nordstrom, Macy's and J.C. Penney After Earnings