For Deutsche Bank's Cryan, profit can wait

Fri May 13, 2016 2:08am EDT
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By Arno Schuetze, Edward Taylor and John O'Donnell

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Almost one year into his tenure as Deutsche Bank's chief executive, John Cryan says he has ushered in a new culture of openness, rooted out bad behavior and set about untangling the bank's technology.

Profit, says the 55-year-old Briton, can wait.

"If we had wanted to be profitable this year, then it's a done deal. We can stop investing in IT. We can put off litigation," he said, in reference to lawsuits against the bank.

Cryan, earlier at Switzerland's UBS, has been tasked with cleaning up a business which in three years declined from a potent force on Wall Street to posting a record loss in 2015. It share price has fallen 35 percent so far this year.

While its neighbor on New York's Park Avenue, JP Morgan, made a record profit of more than $24 billion last year, Deutsche lodged a loss of $7.7 billion.

One of the main reasons for Deutsche's woes is a litigation bill since 2012 that has already hit 12.6 billion euros.

Claims filed by individuals, companies and regulators against Deutsche, outlined in the bank's 2015 annual report, relate to misselling of subprime loans and manipulation of foreign exchange rates or gold and silver prices.

    Other law suits are for the rigging of borrowing benchmarks Libor and Euribor, used to set the price of mortgages and derivatives. Deutsche paid more than $3 billion in fines after regulators' probes into manipulation of such interbank rates.   Continued...

Deutsche Bank Chief Executive John Cryan addresses a news conference in Frankfurt, Germany, January 28, 2016. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach