Business World

Monday 19 February 2018

Deutsche Bank hikes legal provisions after posting third-quarter profit

Deutsche Bank ceo John Cryan
Deutsche Bank ceo John Cryan

Arno Schuetze

Deutsche Bank posted an unexpected net profit of €278m in the third quarter after a record loss in the year-earlier period as it benefited from a surge in bond trading that boosted all Wall Street banks' earnings.

"We continued to make good progress on restructuring the bank. However, in the past several weeks these positive developments were overshadowed by the attention around our negotiations concerning the Residential Mortgage Backed Securities matter in the United States. This had an unsettling effect," chief executive John Cryan said in a statement on Thursday.

Deutsche Bank shares rose 3.6pc in pre-market trading at brokerage Lang & Schwarz, while Germany's blue-chip index was seen down 0.4pc.

Deutsche Bank hiked the amount of money it has set aside to cover the legal bill for its numerous missteps of the past. Litigation reserves rose to €5.9bn from €5.5bn at the end of June.

Deutsche Bank is fighting a $14bn demand from the US Department of Justice (DoJ) over the misselling of mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the financial crisis.

"Discussions with the DOJ to resolve its investigation of Deutsche Bank’s pre-financial crisis RMBS business are ongoing," Deutsche Bank said in a presentation. It gave no information on when it expects to settle the case.

Revenues were up slightly at €7.5bn in the quarter, ahead analysts' expectations, mainly driven by Deutsche's trading activities, while business declined in all other operating businesses mainly due to the effects of the low interest-rate environment.

Deutsche Bank's cash cow bond trading division, which has volatile revenues and tough capital requirements to meet, was up 14pc in the quarter, driven by Britain's surprise vote to leave the European Union and bouts of anxiety about monetary policy around the world.

Compared to its peers, Deutsche Bank's bond trading activities however showed a subdued rebound, in part related to its decision to trim the unit.

In equities trading, Deutsche Bank saw revenues decline in the quarter as low stock markets volatility gave investors less reason to trade, while revenues from corporate and investment banking fell by 1pc due to weaker M&A fees and capital markets activity.


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