Deutsche Bank may have gone through a number of strategy overhauls in recent years, but its chief financial officer (CFO) told CNBC Sunday that the bank is determined this new round of restructuring will be its last.
“We are very confident this is the final restructuring for this organization. We’re looking forward, frankly, to having that behind us and (to) focus on our core business going forward,” James von Moltke told CNBC’s Annette Weisbach in Frankfurt.
The German lender announced Sunday that it will pull out of its global equities sales and trading operations, scale back its investment banking and slash thousands of jobs as part of a sweeping restructuring plan to improve profitability.
Deutsche will cut 18,000 jobs for a global headcount of around 74,000 employees by 2022. The bank aims to reduce adjusted costs by a quarter to 17 billion euros ($19 billion) over the next several years.
“Job cuts are painful for us all. They are unfortunately a necessary by-product of the reorientation of the organization. Geographically it’s actually relatively broadly spread,” he said.
“Those are plans that have been underway for some time and of course in the restructuring or realignment of our investment bank there’ll be significant cuts there as well principally falling, of course, in equity sales and trading with the announcement that we are going to exit entirely, but also to some degree in the FICC (fixed income, commodities and currencies) organization,” von Moltke added.
He said that the bank’s board has been working hard to set goals that are achievable so that there are no more rounds of job cuts and the bank can come back to profitability.
“Over the past year or so we’ve been quite deliberately trying to set near-term goals that we could hit deliver on our promises and build from there. That’s absolutely how we approach this, he said, reiterating that the board were determined for this to be the last round of restructuring needed.
The German bank’s decision to scale back on investment banking comes just two days after its investment banking chief Garth Ritchie stepped down by “mutual agreement.”
Deutsche predicts its restructuring plan to cost 7.4 billion euros by the end of 2022. The German bank expects to report a net loss of 2.8 billion euros in the second quarter of 2019, with results due on July 25.
Deutsche shares have risen 16% over the past month, bouncing off an all-time low in early June after CEO Christian Sewing called for “tough cutbacks” at a contentious shareholder meeting. However, the multi-year decline is evident in a current share price of 7 euros, as opposed to 112 euros at their pre-crisis peak.
The tumbling share price has reflected the bank’s long run of legacy scandals, many of which relate to anti money laundering failures, along with the collapse of merger talks with domestic rival Commerzbank, which may have eased pressure to trim or hive off its investment banking arm.
On being asked why investors should look to buy Deutsche shares again, von Moltke said the bank is moving toward a more stable future.
“We are reorienting the bank away from the more volatile businesses towards very stable, very predictable businesses and as investors see both that and our execution against our targets, we believe there is a significant re-rating of the company that’s available.”
—CNBC’s Annette Weisbach contributed to this report.