Deutsche Bank to Scale Back US Business, Lay Off Staff

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Investment banking yielded surprises at Deutsche Bank and Barclays in the first quarter of 2018: the former's revenue looked as frightful as the latter's did outstanding.

Deutsche Bank will take another step back from its decades-long global expansion, announcing Thursday that it will focus its investment banking business more on Europe and reduce operations in the USA and Asia. Earlier this month, JPMorgan analysts recommended that Deutsche pull back from its U.S. operation - particularly equities and rates - to unlock value for shareholders. They've argued that maintaining most of the global investment-banking operations is key to the lender's core mission of serving German companies overseas, while conceding that those businesses do need to be trimmed.

"Our roots lie in Europe: it is here where we want to offer firms and institutional customers worldwide financial solutions".

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The bank said the move to reallocate resources and scale back in areas where management feels Deutsche Bank no longer has a competitive advantage will allow it focus more on businesses where it is in a dominant position, such as global payments and foreign exchange markets.

"We have to act decisively and to adjust our strategy". It joined the ranks of global securities firms with the 1989 purchase of British merchant bank Morgan Grenfell and a decade later purchased Bankers Trust, a NY derivatives house. Fees from capital markets underwriting and mergers and acquisitions advice, meanwhile, sank 27% to €480m, with the steepest fall (50%) coming from equity origination. Their departures, tied to the CEO change, are part of the third high-level shake-up at the lender since Mr. Cryan took over as CEO less than three years ago. Deutsche Bank has spent more than $17 billion paying fines and settling litigation since the start of 2008, according to company filings and other disclosures compiled by Bloomberg. Deutsche Bank has a fifty-two week low of $13.52 and a fifty-two week high of $20.23.

Marcus Schenck, the former co-head of investment banking who had been a strong internal contender to replace Cryan, left amid the recent management shake-up.

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From 2021 the bank for private and business customers, plus the stock market listed asset manager DWS should account for half of Deutsche Bank's revenues, Sewing said. The firm presently has a $16.00 target price on the bank's stock.

Sewing said the bank's management board had made a decision to act "decisively" in light of the division's performance. The bank had a net profit of 575 million euros ($700 million) in last year's first quarter.

Deutsche's plans will result in significant headcount reductions in the USA and Asia.

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