Deutsche Bank is strong and its turnaround strategy is bearing fruit, chairman Paul Achleitner has said, ruling out the need for state aid and playing down speculation that the loss-making German bank should merge.
In an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, Mr Achleitner added that he would not step down after a tough year in which Deutsche replaced its chief executive, was targeted in money laundering probes, and saw its share price halve.
“Let’s look at the facts: Deutsche Bank has a very strong capital basis compared to its competitors,” he told the Sunday paper, adding that new chief executive, Christian Sewing, was getting costs under control.
Deutsche hopes to return to the black this year after three consecutive years of losses.
Mr Sewing, hired in April, has pushed back against speculation that Deutsche could merge with struggling rival Commerzbank in the near future.
Mr Achleitner reiterated that stance and, asked whether Deutsche may need financial support, said: “This scenario will not come about.”
Earlier this month, Mr Sewing said Deutsche Bank is not at risk of a takeover, even after its shares fell to a record low in the wake of a two-day raid related to money laundering allegations.
“We are on track to make our first profit for three years. It is only a matter of time before this progress is reflected in the share price,” he said.
The bank also dismissed, as far back as in September, reports that it could consider tie-ups with Switzerland’s UBS or German peer Commerzbank.
Mr Sewing’s remarks, earlier this month, followed a two-day raid as part of an investigation linked to the so-called Panama Papers leak of documents about offshore finance.
Police searched the offices of all the bank’s board members, something with which Mr Sewing said he didn’t have a problem with.
Investigators were looking at the activities of unidentified Deutsche Bank employees alleged to have helped clients to set up offshore firms to launder money.