You have to hand it to Deutsche Bank Chief Executive John Cryan: The man charged with cleaning up Germany’s largest financial institution has delivered.
The bank’s largest legal risk, a dispute in the U.S. over questionable mortgage securities in the 2008 crisis, has been set aside. He’s also been partially successful in settling the bank’s most uncertain legal case to date, involving questionable stock trades in Russia.
With that, there really aren’t any legal cases left that pose an existential threat to the bank. And even with the settlement of these legacy risks, the bank still managed to strengthen its capital base and bolster its liquidity last year.
All of this should be counted as an enormous success that will free up the bank’s managers and employees to focus on the future – that is now the most urgent task.
After all, what you won’t find in the bank’s annual results released Thursday morning is the answer to a simple question: How is the bank going to earn enough money in the future?