John Cryan suggested that tens of thousands of jobs could be eliminated as the bank, which has a hefty investment banking presence in London, works to align costs with sinking revenues.
“We employ 97,000 people,” Cryan said in an interview with the Financial Times. “Most big peers have more like half that number.”
The news follows a five-year restructuring plan announced in late 2015, which promised to chop 9,000 jobs. So far Deutsche Bank has made around 4,000 of these, but Cryan said the ratio of front-office staff – who take effectively generate business – to back-office, who provide administrative and support services, was still “out of kilter”.
Just last month, the bank warned of a “challenging” revenue environment following a global trend of weakening investment bank trading revenues.
Cryan said Deutsche Bank is “too manual”, and has “the most to gain” from turning to technology to increase efficiency.
He did not go so far as to emulate Jes Staley's “hiring freeze”, which was designed to tackle the high cost base when the Barclays boss took the helm in late 2015. Instead, he said Deutsche Bank was pursuing more of a “hiring frost”.
Cryan is under pressure to make waves at Deutsche Bank, once a global leader in investment banking. Since taking the reigns as chief executive in 2015, Deutsche Bank's share price has almost halved. Shares were down 0.07 per cent today in morning trading.