Shares in Deutsche Bank tumbled this morning, after reports suggested the troubled lender has implemented a hiring freeze.
Bloomberg reported chief executive John Cryan had emailed divisional chief operating officers ordering them to stop hiring with immediate effect. That caused shares in Deutsche to fall almost 2.9 per cent to €12.03.
The freeze will affect all areas of the bank's operations, other than control functions such as compliance.
Last year the lender unveiled a massive restructuring programme dubbed Strategy 2020, under which it said it expected to make 9,000 job cuts, as well as cutting 6,000 external contractor positions in its global technology and operations infrastructure functions. Meanwhile, open roles are filled internally.
Deutsche has been the subject of much speculation in recent weeks, after it admitted it was in talks with the US Deportment of Justice (DoJ) over a $14bn (£11.4bn) penalty associated with sales of mortgage-backed securities.
Although it insisted it was unlikely to pay "anything like" that sum, rumours it was close to reaching a $5bn-odd settlement with the DoJ proved unfounded earlier this week, causing shares to fall further.
In the meantime, it has been compared to Lehman Brothers as German politicians sought to determine whether or not it can be deemed "too big to fail" - with Angela Merkel suggesting a bailout by the state is unlikely, before backtracking.
Deutsche Bank did not comment.