Deutsche Bank still aims to be a global presence in investment banking amid increased appetite for European banks to merge, according to the German lender’s chief executive.
Christian Sewing today said that the bank is standing by its international operations as well as home, after pressure from some investors to cut back its once mighty investment bank as well as intense speculation about a possible tie-up with smaller rival Commerzbank.
Sewing also called for a “constructive answer” to the issue of Brexit which will allow “continental Europe to develop strong financial centres” but also continue to give access to the “important financial centre” in London.
Speaking at a banking conference in Frankfurt, Sewing emphasised that investment banking and a “global presence” remain important for European banking.
Mergers between European banks will be be inevitable, with few of the more than 5,500 financial institutions in mainland Europe capable of competing with the giant US investment banks, he said.
“It is very clear: the pressure to consolidate in Europe will rise substantially,” Sewing said. “Europe does not need as many banks as possible; Europe needs strong banks above all”.
Germany’s regulator has also stressed the need for a global bank in the country in order to serve international businesses, he added.
Sewing said that “our global ambitions will not be up for debate under my leadership”, adding that Deutsche Bank’s global reach is as important as it was at the fall of the Berlin Wall, in the early '90s.
The appointment of Sewing as chief executive in April this year was seen by many industry observers as a sign the bank would move its focus away from its investment arm. Sewing, a Deutsche lifer who was previously head of retail operations, replaced Yorkshireman John Cryan and instituted a large round of cuts in the investment bank.