Deutsche Bank must be universal bank to be competitive -chairman

FRANKFURT Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:21am EST

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FRANKFURT Dec 20 (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank must remain a universal bank if it wants to be competitive internationally, the chairman of Germany's biggest lender was quoted saying in a magazine interview.

Politicians have been looking at ways of requiring banks to separate their deposit-taking arms from proprietary trading and other risky investment banking activities, as part of efforts to shield taxpayers and protect savers.

Deutsche Bank has put forward solid arguments why it needs to keep its capital market business as an integral part of a universal bank that also offers retail banking services, Paul Achleitner told WirtschaftsWoche magazine.

"If politicians aren't convinced, they will put the separation of banking activity into effect and then we'd have to wave goodbye to the ambition of being globally competitive," Achleitner said.

A bank whose deposit taking and trading activity had been separated would need to refinance both parts separately on the market, which would be expensive, he said.

"To earn their costs, employees would have to engage in risky business," he said.

European banking rules must not rob the continent of entrepreneurial innovation in face of the dominant role of the U.S. financial industry, he said.

"We saw with the NSA's spying and eavesdropping activity what can happen when one country completely controls an important global network like the Internet," he said. "We Europeans must not willingly abandon our place at the table." (Reporting by Jonathan Gould; Editing by David Holmes)

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