Germany's largest lender Deutsche Bank AG on Thursday reported a steep third-quarter net loss of 6 billion euros ($6.5 billion), due to higher costs of operation and legal bills of about 1.2 billion euros ($1.31 billion). It also said revenue was down by 7 percent to 7.3 billion euros ($7.98 billion) from the same period last year.
"A highly disappointing result that was largely driven by items we had already flagged earlier in October," the bank's new co-CEO John Cryan said, in a statement.
As part of the bank's Strategy 2020 restructuring plan, Cryan said in a separate statement that the bank will exit 10 countries -- Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Malta and New Zealand. Cryan also announced that the bank will cut 9,000 full-time jobs and 6,000 contract workers, and the bank is expected to slash 20,000 additional positions by selling some of its businesses over the next two years.
"This is never an easy task, and we will not do so lightly. I promise that we will take great care in this process, moving forward together with our workers’ representatives,” Cryan said, in the statement.
Deutsche Bank also announced Thursday it would stop dividend payments in 2015 and 2016 as Cryan tries to save money for the costly litigation battles ahead. The company said it hopes to limit non-interest expenses (which include cost of litigation) to about 22 billion euros ($24.05 billion) but did not say how.
The new austerity measures, which were passed by the board Thursday, will also look to bring the cost-to-income ratio down to about 70 percent by 2018. The company had a cost-to-income ratio of 84.3 percent at the end of June. In contrast, peers Barclays PLC, Credit Suisse AG and UBS AG, which are also cutting costs and formulating new strategies, currently only spend 64 to 77 cents to earn a euro, Reuters reported.
Under pressure to reverse the fortunes of the troubled company, Cryan has announced sweeping job cuts and lower bonuses and split its investment unit into two, over the past few months.
Shares of the company have fallen about 9 percent in the last three months on Germany's XETRA stock exchange and the New York Stock Exchange.
Meanwhile, the New York Times reported Thursday, citing unnamed officials, that the bank is close to resolving an investigation into its dealings with countries like Iran and Syria. The news comes just days after U.S. financial watchdogs said they intend to widen their investigations into the bank’s dealings in Moscow.
The Frankfurt-headquartered bank is expected to pay about $200 million in a settlement deal, which may be announced as soon as next week, the officials briefed on the matter told the Times.
The investigation, led by New York State's financial regulators and the Federal Reserve, is trying to ascertain if the bank processed transactions for clients in those countries in violation of U.S. sanction laws.
However, the deal is not yet final as the Federal Reserve is still negotiating a penalty, and the final sum is not known, the sources told the Times.