Deutsche Bank chief tells shareholders 'transformation is working'
By Thomas Atkins and Arno Schuetze
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank AG (DBKGn.DE: Quote) defended plans to raise 8 billion euros ($11 billion) in equity capital on Thursday, as its top executives faced angry investors at the annual shareholders' meeting, less than a week after announcing the surprise plan.
Germany's largest bank launched the share issue only weeks after first hinting it was unable to retain sufficient profits to fortify its finances ahead of the industrywide health checks due to be conducted by European regulators this year.
"We know some of you are sceptical. Some of you may ask, why should we trust this team to deliver?," co-Chief Executive Anshu Jain told thousands of shareholders at Frankfurt's convention center, while outside the building various protesters dressed as clown fish and pigs and others riding a cardboard tank, accused the bank of unethical behaviour.
"You should trust us because the transformation of Deutsche Bank is working, because we are doing what we said, step by step, because we're strengthening capital and reducing risk", he said.
"In the banking industry there will be winners and losers, and we are systematically positioning Deutsche Bank to be a winner," he added.
Chairman Paul Achleitner told the meeting the bank aimed to make staff and clients "proud of Deutsche Bank again".
Jain, who has been portrayed by some shareholders in the past as being a detached 'Anglo-Saxon' investment banker with little knowledge of Germany's social-market economy, for the first time addressed the bank's owners at length in German.
"Both in our business environment and within Deutsche Bank some challenges were tougher than we anticipated," the Indian-born British citizen told the meeting, attended by some 4,800 investors. Continued...