February 2, 2018 / 9:14 AM / 2 years ago

Deutsche Bank lowers 2018 cost-cutting aim on delayed divestitures

Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan poses before the bank's annual news conference in Frankfurt, Germany, February 2, 2018. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank expects its costs to decline by only 4 percent to 23 billion euros ($28.8 billion) this year, shy of a previous target for 22 billion euros, mainly due to delays in planned divestitures.

“Nine hundred million euros of costs are attached to businesses that we had earmarked for sale or divestiture”, Chief Executive John Cryan told analysts on Friday.

“Those businesses are not core to us and remain not core. There’s a reason why whatever action we were going to take is delayed, but we do expect the causes of those delays to go away,” he added.

Deutsche Bank earlier on Friday posted its third consecutive annual loss in 2017, taking a hit from challenging markets, a drop in investment bank revenue and a U.S. tax reform, after a difficult fourth quarter.

Cryan added that no large divestitures were planned beyond the flagged merger of its retail business with Postbank and the flotation of its asset manager DWS.

“It’s a lot of tidying up, which we intend to do”, he said.

In 2017, Deutsche Bank among other sold its Polish retail business, while plans to pull out of Spain, Portugal and Belgium did not get off the ground.

Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Maria Sheahan

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