Deutsche Bank drops Wall Street ambition to focus on Europe

Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank AG is abandoning its ambitions to be a top global securities firm as it embarks on possibly the most sweeping overhaul yet of its struggling investment bank. Big questions remain about where they go next-and at Deutsche whether the new chief executive, Christian Sewing, really can make any big changes.

The transfer of Binance from Taiwan to the European country to Malta is a more significant move than Deutsche Bank permanently transferring its headquarters and operations from Germany to Malta.

"These cutbacks will be painful, but they are unfortunately unavoidable if we want to be sustainably profitable in the best interests of our bank, our clients and our investors", Sewing said in a statement.

It will kick off a review of its global equities business with a view to "reducing its platform", including pulling back leverage exposure to global prime finance. "There is no time to lose as the current returns for our shareholders are not acceptable", he said in a statement.

The fact that startups with about 200 employees have reached multi-billion dollar valuations and beat out major banks such as Deutsche Bank in profitability demonstrate a healthy long-term development of the cryptocurrency market. Revenue in its private and commercial bank unit was 2.63 billion euros, down 2 percent. The bank made a return on tangible equity of 0.9 percent, compared with 4.5 percent in the first quarter of the previous year.

Separately, German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said Deutsche Bank planned to cut more than 1,000 jobs in the United States.

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The company didn't provide numbers showing how deep the cuts to the investment bank will be.

"We believe it is the right strategy especially taking into account the poor results", Kian Abouhossein, an analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co., said in a note to clients. Sewing said during a conference call with analysts that the announced investment bank restructuring will be implemented "very, very quickly".

Yet the aggressive expansion eventually led to a spate of legal scandals that took Cryan a good part of his three-year tenure to clean up.

Deutsche Bank said that the investment banking business would be aimed at its core European client base and on underwriting and financing areas in which it has a strong competitive position against other banks.

Deutsche Bank confirmed that target on Thursday. The bank had a net profit of 575 million euros ($700 million) in last year's first quarter. The bulk of the cuts will focus on the USA and Asia. Its German home market trails the U.S. and U.K.in retail- and investment-banking profitability, and compared to its big Swiss rivals, Deutsche Bank lacks scale in private banking and wealth management.

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