After battling back to health, Deutsche Bank faces new turbulence

2 months ago 49

FRANKFURT;  Storied German lender Deutsche Bank had just been getting back on its feet after years of scandals - but now faces new turbulence after its shares tanked Friday amid concerns of a widening banking sector crisis.

Here are five facts about the bank:


Deutsche Bank ranked as the eighth largest in Europe last year, with total assets of 1.3 trillion euros, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The Frankfurt-headquartered group had close to 85,000 employees in 2022, about half of whom were overseas.

Founded in 1870, the bank for many years was a major financial backer for top German corporations as they expanded overseas, in sectors ranging from chemicals to electrical engineering.

Its strength helped it survive the 1931 banking crisis, triggered by inflation and the shutdown of international markets to German businesses.

At the end of the 1980s, Deutsche Bank shifted focus to trying to compete with American investment banks, making several acquisitions and developing a more risk-taking culture.


In the 1990s, under the leadership of Rolf Breuer, then from 2002 to 2012 with Josef Ackermann at the helm, Deutsche Bank sought to play in the same leagues as the giants of Wall Street.

But the bank's breakneck growth was not accompanied by careful oversight of what was happening with its operations on the ground, and it ended up being hit with myriad legal cases.

It faced allegations of money-laundering and other illegal practices.

It hit a nadir in early 2017 when it was fined us$7.2 billion in the United States to settle lawsuits over its role in the "subprime" mortgage crisis, which contributed to the global financial crisis.


After repeated scandals stemming from its investment banking division, Deutsche Bank had to undertake two major restructuring drives before it really began to turn a corner.

The first came in May 2018 when newly installed chief executive Christian Sewing unveiled a plan to cut about 7,000 jobs.

In March 2019, preliminary talks were held with cross-town rival Commerzbank, which was also facing problems, on a possible merger - but the plan was abandoned.

Then in July 2019, Deutsche Bank unveiled a second, more far-reaching restructuring plan - 18,000 jobs were to be axed by 2022 and it would retreat from most share trading activities and ...

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