Deutsche Bank loss widens in Q4 on restructuring costs

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s Deutsche Bank said yesterday that its net loss widened in the fourth quarter as a result of charges related to a sweeping restructuring programme.

Germany’s biggest bank reported a net loss of EUR1.48 billion (USD1.6 billion) for the October-December period, compared with EUR409 million a year earlier.

For the full year, it lost EUR5.27 billion, compared with a profit of EUR341 million in 2018.

The full-year loss “was entirely driven by transformation-related effects” and those effects “were broadly in line with projections”, the company said.

“As at the end of 2019, Deutsche Bank had recognised 70 per cent of the anticipated cumulative costs to achieve its transformation strategy between 2019 and 2022.”

The fourth-quarter figure included “transformation charges” of EUR608 million and restructuring and severance costs to the tune of EUR473 million.

The net figure was dragged down further by deferred tax asset valuation adjustments of around EUR400 million related to the restructuring programme.

Last July, Deutsche Bank announced plans to cut thousands of jobs by 2022, downsizing its volatile investment banking division in a restructuring aimed at restoring consistent profitability and better returns to shareholders.

Deutsche Bank has struggled for years with low profits, high costs, questions about its business model, and fines and settlements with regulators for misconduct.

CEO Christian Sewing took over in 2018 with a mandate to cut costs and improve returns to shareholders.