UPDATE: 5:50 a.m. EST — Speaking at a press conference held after Deutsche Bank AG reported its first full year loss since the financial crisis of 2008, Co-Chief Executive Officer John Cryan said Thursday that the bank's management board will not get bonuses for 2015.
It would be "inappropriate vis-a-vis society" to post 5.2 billion euros ($5.66 billion) of litigation costs and not have some impact on bonuses at the bank, Cryan told reporters in Frankfurt.
Deutsche Bank AG on Thursday reported a net loss of 6.8 billion euros ($7.4 billion) in 2015 — the German lender’s first full year loss since 2008 — after it set aside money for litigation and wrote down the value of its investment banking and consumer banking units. The reported loss is in line with the figures announced last week when its Co-Chief Executive Officer John Cryan cited “challenging market conditions” for decline in annual and fourth-quarter revenue.
The bank, which is facing a double challenge of generating profits and slashing costs, also reported a loss of 2.1 billion euros ($2.28 billion) in the fourth quarter of 2015. Additionally, the lender reported a pre-tax loss of 1.15 billion euros ($1.25 billion) for its investment banking business, as global headwinds caused by slowing growth rate in China, a slump in oil prices, and near-zero interest rates weighed on earnings.
“All the uncertainty over oil, interest rates and growth has investors standing on the sidelines and not tapping Deutsche Bank for services,” Michael Seufert, an analyst at Germany’s Norddeutsche Landesbank, told Bloomberg. “The big question for shareholders now is where’s the positive outlook and how can the bank earn money?”
Since the start of the year, Deutsche Bank’s shares in Frankfurt have dropped nearly 26 percent.
The bank said Thursday that it had set aside 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion) in the fourth quarter for litigation charges, in addition to the 1 billion euro ($1.1 billion) it added the previous quarter, bringing the total amount earmarked as litigation cost last year to 5.2 billion euros ($5.66 billion).
Deutsche Bank has already paid billions of dollars in fines and settlements over accusations that it colluded with other banks to fix benchmark interest rates, and violated international sanctions against countries like Iran.
Another 800 million euros ($870 million) was set aside in the fourth quarter to cover restructuring and severance costs.
“We are focused on 2016 and continue to work hard to clear up our legacy issues. Restructuring work and investment in our platform will continue throughout the year,” Cryan said, in a statement. “We know that periods of restructuring can be challenging. However, I’m confident that by continuing to implement our strategy in a disciplined manner, we can and will transform Deutsche Bank into a stronger, more efficient and better run institution.”