Deutsche’s global ambitions hit a huge American wall

Business

Deutsche’s global ambitions hit a huge American wall

As Germany's giant scraps its dreams and 18,000 jobs, US rivals are moving in on its former clients

Lucy Burton

In finance circles, one phrase – “DB not a BB” – has been circulating on social media sites for the past year. Meaning “Deutsche Bank not a Bulge Bracket [global] Bank”, the catchphrase came to fruition last Monday as hundreds of Deutsche staff around the world were handed a white envelope detailing their redundancy packages and were told to clear their desks.

The German giant had, at last, given up on its global ambitions. The retreat is drastic. In a radical attempt to boost its fortunes and push its share price up from record lows, the troubled lender decided to slash 18,000 jobs (a fifth of its workforce), close its global equities business and set up a bad bank stuffed with €74bn (R1.1-trillion) of toxic assets.

Chief executive Christian Sewing (pronounced Zay-ving) said on Monday that the days of “speculator ambition” in investment banking were over...

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