Deutsche adds to fears for slow start to year at investment banks

Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:24pm EDT
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By Maya Nikolaeva

PARIS (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE: Quote) said on Thursday it has had a "slow" start to the year in its investment bank, due to market uncertainty related to the crisis in Ukraine and concerns about economic growth in China and Germany.

Credit Suisse CSGN.VX also said it had seen a slowdown in parts of fixed-income trading, adding to warnings from U.S. rivals JPMorgan (JPM.N: Quote) and Citigroup (C.N: Quote) that this year has got off to a weak start for investment banks, continuing a slowdown seen in the second half of last year.

"To us, the year started slow. Obviously through political uncertainty we started to have market uncertainty again and a slowdown in business," said Stefan Krause, chief financial officer at Deutsche Bank, Germany's biggest bank by market value.

"Ukraine, the data from China caused some slowdown ... We had some ups and downs in Germany on data as well," Krause told reporters on the sidelines of a banking conference in Paris, organized by The Economist magazine.

Credit Suisse also said some business areas had slowed.

"We have seen a slowdown in certain parts of fixed income," said Gael de Boissard, Credit Suisse's head of investment banking and CEO for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Revenues from fixed income - especially rates - have slumped since May, blamed on tougher regulation and a move by the U.S. central bank to put the brakes on its bond-buying program.

While some banks say the fall is temporary, other bankers and analysts say requirements to hold more capital has squeezed margins and left overcapacity, and banks will need to cut hundreds of jobs to shrink and restructure.   Continued...

The Deutsche Bank logo is seen outside a building in Luxembourg, September 10, 2013. Picture taken September 10, 2013. REUTERS/Yves Herman