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Deutsche Bank’s painful self-help plan begins
The troubled German lender unveiled its long-awaited reorganization plan yesterday, which involves eliminating thousands of jobs and severely reducing its global ambitions. But is it too little, too late?
The bank plans to cut 18,000 jobs and shrink its global equities business. Top executives will leave, including its investment banking chief, and $300 billion worth of assets will be hived off in a “bad bank” to be sold off over time. The layoffs have already begun.
The firm will refocus its efforts on serving European companies and retail-banking customers, pulling back from nearly two decades of trying to compete with Wall Street giants. But its C.E.O., Christian Sewing, said this morning that the U.S. remains a core market for the bank.
The plan will cost the lender 7.4 billion euros, or $8.3 billion, in severance payments and other expenses through 2022. Dividends will be suspended for 2019 and 2020.
But experts are unsure whether it will work. Shrinking means reduced revenue, potentially creating a vicious circle of declining income and profits. Mohamed El-Erian of the German insurer Allianz tweeted, “Big question that’s now on the table is whether DB can shrink itself to heightened competitiveness and sustainable profitability without a merger of some sort.”
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