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Deutsche Bank gaining in financial strength, says CEO

Deutsche Bank

CEO Christian Sewing has said that his priority was to complete a turnaround by 2022

Deutsche Bank is gaining in financial strength, putting Germany’s largest lender in a position to play a leading role in European banking consolidation, according to CEO Christian Sewing.

We continue to do better and therefore meet the criteria to sit at the table when it comes to a possible consolidation of the European banks – and not just as a junior partner, Mr Sewing told Welt am Sonntag in an interview yesterday.

Mr Sewing, who is pursuing a long-term drive to boost earnings power at Deutsche after years of underperformance, has consistently said that his priority was to complete a turnaround by 2022.

The bank is aiming to return to profitability after five years of losses totalling more than €15bn.

Talks on an all-German banking merger with Commerzbank failed in 2019 and, with a stock market value of just €18bn, Deutsche would be an affordable target for a more richly valued potential acquirer.

Mr Sewing played up the bank’s strategic importance for Europe’s largest economy and top exporting nation, however, and said his restructuring drive was already bearing fruit.

It would be a mistake to rely on imports of financial services, said Mr Sewing. Every quarter in which we are successful makes us stronger.

Earnings and costs in its private and corporate business were absolutely on track, he added, and Deutsche’s investment bank has outperformed expectations.

Last month, Deutsche Bank said it will cut more costs as it confirmed a key profitability target for 2022 that analysts are not convinced it will achieve.

It has already announced plans to cut its headcount by 18,000 and exit some businesses.

The bank said it would cut costs to €16.7bn by 2022, compared with a previous target of €17bn. It’s also looking at savings on office space and travel.

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