Deutsche Bank warns weak economic environment could lead to more intense restructuring plans as company reports a fall in profits for the quarter

Hayley Kirton
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FILES - Picture taken on May 29, 2008 sh
At least the bank has been able to cut down on its litigation expenses (Source: Getty)

The boss of Deutsche Bank confirmed today that it's a tough time for the sector, as the lender reported an €800m (£670.3m) slip in profits before taxes for its most recent quarter.

The figures

The German banking giant reported income before taxes of €408m in its second quarter, a 67 per cent fall from €1.2bn for the same period last year. The most recent quarter's figure included €285m in goodwill impairment, restructuring and severance costs of €207m and litigation costs of €120m.

Meanwhile, net income dropped 98 per cent to €20m.

Net revenues were also down, slipping 20 per cent to €7.4bn from €9.2bn the year before.

Deutsche Bank also reported it had lowered its non-interest expenses by 14 per cent to €6.7bn, thanks partly to lower litigation and compensation costs.

Shares in the bank have lost over half their value over the course of a year, and reached their lowest-ever level shortly after the Brexit vote last month.

Deutsche Bank Deutsche Bank | mobile image

Why it's important

As far as financial results are concerned, it's not a good time to be in the banking sector. Persistently low interest rates have squeezed potential revenues, while uncertainty both before and after the EU referendum has put many clients off big ticket deals.

But the bank can't use Brexit as the sole excuse for its concerns, as many of its woes long pre-date the vote. In its 2015 full-year results, Deutsche Bank revealed its first annual loss since 2008 and then later warned it was likely to wallow in the red in 2016 as well.

As a result, the bank has been forced to lay-off a number of staff. Even those who are staying have been stung, with bonuses being placed under pressure.

Deutsche Bank in particular has found itself in hot water recently after the German giant, along with Santander, failed the US banking stress tests last month. They were the only two of the 33 studied to do so.

But the bank isn't going down without a fight, and is making a significant effort to restructure. Today's results statement noted the first stage of the restructuring plan had been agreed in Germany, although this unfortunately affects around 3,000 jobs.

What Deutsche Bank said

"While our results show that we are undergoing a sustained restructuring, we are satisfied with the progress we are making," said chief executive John Cryan. "We have continued to de-risk our balance sheet, to invest in our processes and to modernise our infrastructure.

"However, if the current weak economic environment persists, we will need to be yet more ambitious in the timing and intensity of our restructuring."

In short

It's a cruel world for banks at the moment, but Deutsche in particular is having a tough time.

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