2017 loss

Deutsche Bank blasted on cost cuts and trading declines

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More than Deutsche Bank's image is out of focus. Source: DPA

When Stephen Feinberg, CEO of the US buyout firm Cerberus Capital Management, jetted into Frankfurt just before Christmas, he delivered a critical report card to John Cryan, the British financier struggling to turn around Deutsche Bank.

Mr. Feinberg, who became Deutsche Bank’s fourth largest shareholder in November by buying a 3 percent stake, supported Mr. Cryan’s efforts at reforming the bank, according to Deutsche officials. But he also gave management a failing grade on those efforts. Cerberus believes that Deutsche Bank is still bloated with inefficiencies and management has bungled the attempts to cut expenses in a meaningful way.

“Costs continue to be a high priority,” Christian Sewing, Deutsche Bank’s president and the co-head of the private and commercial banking arms, said in an interview with Handelsblatt. “That’s where we have to stay on the ball all the time.”

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