Deutsche's Record Loss

John Cryan Takes Responsibility

CryanDB-Reuters
John Cryan is the undisputed man at the helm of Deutsche Bank.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Things might have to get worse before they get better at Germany’s largest bank.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Deutsche Bank posted a record €6.8-billion loss last year, largely due to one-time costs from legal fees and write downs.
    • The investment banking division, once a money-maker, posted a €1.2 billion loss in 2015.
    • CEO John Cryan warned the bank could still face “significant” new legal costs in 2016, but less than the €5.2 billion recorded in 2015.
  • Audio

    Audio

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John Cryan has only been at the helm of Deutsche Bank for about six months, yet on Thursday he made clear that the buck already stops with him.

“I feel personally responsible,” Mr. Cryan, chief executive since July of last year, said of the bank’s record €6.8 billion loss for 2015.

In a bleak fashion that has become characteristic of the British-born banker, Mr. Cryan spent a press conference Thursday warning in stark terms that things would get worse at Deutsche Bank before they get better.

Deutsche Bank’s brand, he acknowledged, has taken a serious hit over the past years, and may even have cost it some business, as Germany’s largest bank has had to spend more than €10 billion settling legal disputes and begun gutting many of the bank’s operations around the world.

“The Deutsche Bank brand isn’t resonating so readily with clients,” he told reporters, as he presented the bank’s annual results in Frankfurt. “It’s hard to stand up and smile a lot, and give much of a vision for the bank,” he added.

The ongoing legal cases, a share price that is nearing a record low, and cuts to bonus payments were also impacting moral within the bank, he said. For shareholders there was bad news too: Dividends, which were suspended for 2015, will probably not be paid out in 2016 either.

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