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Deutsche Bank reshuffle not enough?

Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 02:05

Deutsche Bank has beefed up the powers of co-chief executive Anshu Jain and reduced the influence of his partner Juergen Fitschen in a management shake-up aimed at improving performance and mollifying shareholders. As Ivor Bennett reports the changes make Indian-born Jain accountable for the bank's reorganisation and drive to cut an additional 4.7 billion euros in costs.

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The setting seemed harmless. But for Deutsche Bank's board, this was the AGM-equivalent of the lions' den. The protests outside just scratching the surface of the anger bubbling within. Co-CEO Juergen Fitschen beginning with a confession in an attempt to win over his audience. (SOUNDBITE) (German) DEUTSCHE BANK CO-CEO, JUERGEN FITSCHEN, SAYING: "We have not delivered, so far, the returns you expect and deserve. But we are convinced that we are steering Deutsche Bank in the right direction." Clearly not everyone agrees though. The applause not quite enough to drown out the jeers. The bank's board is attempting to push through a massive restructuring plan But for some shareholders, it's too little too late. (SOUNDBITE) (German) LAWYER REPRESENTING DSW, GERMANY'S LARGEST ASSOCIATION FOR PRIVATE INVESTORS, SAYING: "There is a record fine of 2.3 billion euros because of the Libor manipulation. Other fines amounting to billions have been issued or are pending. One could say that it's rather chaotic and turbulent at the headquarters." A reshuffle late on Wednesday was an attempt to rectify that image. The bank's other CEO Anshu Jain now in sole charge of the restructuring. As well as fines, he faces lagging profits. (SOUNDBITE) (English/German) DEUTSCHE BANK CO-CEO, ANSHU JAIN, SAYING (GERMAN TRANSLATOR'S VOICE HEARD, NO NATURAL SOUND PROVIDED): "We are not satisfied with the cost savings we have delivered. The topic will be a top priority on our agenda over the coming years." So far though the bank's suggestions have been hugely unpopular. In particular the decision to drop the Postbank retail chain. Cut-backs to investment banking may get more backing. But even with a sudden swing of support, the difficulties won't go away, says Admiral Markets' Darren Sinden. SOUNDBITE (English) DARREN SINDEN, MARKET COMMENTATOR, ADMIRAL MARKETS, SAYING: "Trying to make the business leaner and cleaner is a good idea, but again, it's not changing the underlying fundamental story, if you will, that there's increased competition, there are higher costs, margins are lower, regulatory burden is much higher. It's not a good time to be a banker basically." And it may not be for some time. The glory days it seems are well and truly over.

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Deutsche Bank reshuffle not enough?

Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 02:05