Deutsche Bank says to review strategy, no comment on Postbank sale report

By Reuters

Dec 18, 2014 06:35 AM EST

Deutsche Bank AG (DBKGn.DE) said it would review its strategy in 2015 after a business magazine said it was considering major changes, possibly including the sale of its Postbank-branded (DPBGn.DEretail unit and a revision of its profit targets.

However, in comments following a report by Manager Magazin, Germany's biggest lender said it would be irresponsible to speculate on the sale of any business and declined further comment.

The magazine said big shareholders had expressed displeasure with progress in the group's turnaround led by co-Chief Executives Anshu Jain and Juergen Fitschen. 

It said that could lead the bank to present changes including the sale of its Postbank division, purchased between 2008 and 2009. Spain's Banco Santander (SAN.MC) would be interested in buying Postbank, the magazine said.

Santander declined to comment.

A sale of Postbank, purchased as Europe reeled under the financial crisis, would represent a major reversal for the bank, which has sought to diversify its earnings away from its more volatile investment banking division.

Overhauling the group's profit targets, unveiled in 2012 and diluted once already in 2014, would also represent a major setback for Jain and Fitschen, who have had to contend with heavy costs for fines and settlements for activities.

Deutsche's profit targets have become increasingly difficult to reach, the magazine said.

Its return on equity of less than 3 percent in the first nine months of this year was well below the 12 percent it aims to reach in 2016 and a far cry from the 20 percent returns enjoyed before the crisis.

Shares in the bank, which dropped on Tuesday to a two-month low and which in October fell to their lowest since 2012, were up 2.9 percent by 0938 GMT, slightly outperforming the European banking sector .SX7P which was up 2.3 percent.

Over the past year the stock has lost 21 percent while the Gerrman DAX index .GDAXI has gained 6 percent, Reuters data shows.

The bank will present the changes at the latest at its next annual shareholders' meeting in May, the magazine said in the summary of an article sent ahead of publication on Friday.

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