Deutsche Bank’s Sewing Says Profitability Is Overriding Target
Deutsche Bank AG’s overriding goal for next year is profitability, ahead of other issues including the scale and pace of job cuts, according to Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing.
The German bank’s second-most important target is hitting 70% cost-income ratio, he said Tuesday at a virtual conference hosted by the Financial Times, echoing previous comments. The CEO didn’t say whether his plan to lower Deutsche Bank’s headcount to 74,000 by the end of next year was still intact, saying only that workforce reductions would continue.
Sewing is homing in on the final year of sweeping restructuring plans unveiled in mid-2019 that centered around swingeing cost cuts in an attempt to make Deutsche Bank profitable again. But the lender had 84,500 workers at the end of the third quarter, leaving about 10,000 roles that would still need to go to achieve the original goal.
Deutsche Bank will give a strategy update in March to set out Sewing’s vision beyond next year. He has said the new plan will focus much more on growth after years focused on cost cuts, and may also involve deals.
Answering a question about Brexit, Sewing said Tuesday that Deutsche Bank had achieved a “balanced” headcount between Frankfurt and London, though he didn’t rule out future moves. He reiterated that London will remain a “critical” place of business for the lender and pointed to a planned move into a new headquarters in the city.
Still, he said Frankfurt had enjoyed a boost to the number of financial institutions it hosts since the U.K. left the European Union, while other cities such as Paris, Madrid, Milan and Amsterdam are also benefiting from Brexit.