Deutsche Bank began firing thousands of employees in Asia, Europe and the United States on Monday, moving quickly on at least one part of a strategy meant to arrest years of losses, scandal and decline.
The job cuts, hours after the bank announced a “radical” turnaround plan , were a show of decisiveness at the expense of workers and a tacit answer to the question most asked by analysts and investors Monday: Deutsche Bank’s plan looks good on paper, but can managers pull it off?
Christian Sewing, Deutsche Bank’s chief executive, acknowledged on Monday that the bank had failed in the past to follow through on promises to change. As a result, the bank lost money in four of the past five years and will probably report a loss for 2019.
“Some may say you have heard this before,” Mr. Sewing said during a conference call with journalists. “It is different this time.”
Investors appeared unconvinced. Deutsche Bank shares opened higher in trading in Frankfurt, but then gave up the gains and were down around 6 percent at the market’s close.
Many elements of the bank’s turnaround plan will take months or even years to put in place, including an effort to sequester high-risk assets in a separate unit where they will be sold or retired.
But cutting jobs can be done quickly, at least in countries like the United States and Britain, where there are few legal obstacles. So employees felt the most immediate impact of the bank’s plan to reverse its fortunes, leading to scenes outside Deutsche Bank offices that recalled those that unfolded during the financial-sector layoffs after the investment bank Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008.
Although Mr. Sewing declined on Monday to detail how the cuts, which will ultimately total 18,000 worldwide, would be distributed, they are most [More]