European universal banks can succeed. But can Deutsche Bank?

May 03, 2018

AFTER just 18 days as Deutsche Bank’s chief executive, Christian Sewing had two tasks to perform on April 26th. The easy one, inherited from his ousted predecessor, John Cryan, was to report predictably glum first-quarter results. Net profit dropped by 79%, year on year, to only €120m ($147m). Harder was indicating where he might lead Germany’s troubled leading lender. The rough answer is: back towards Europe, and away from any aspiration to be a global investment bank.

Mr Sewing intends to concentrate more on raising finance and managing payments and currencies for big European companies, and less on America and Asia. He plans to cut the small swaps-repurchasing business in America and to focus the buying and selling of shares for hedge funds and other investors on the most profitable clients. By 2021 corporate and investment banking’s share of total revenues will be trimmed to 50%, from 54% last year. As a result, Mr Sewing said, earnings should become more...Continue reading

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