December 10, 2019 / 8:00 AM / a month ago

Deutsche paints gloomy picture at investor gathering

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) pared back its revenue growth target on Tuesday, highlighting the tough task facing Germany’s biggest lender to revive its fortunes against a gloomy economic backdrop.

Deutsche’s management gave a presentation to investors on its restructuring which aims to shift the bank away from Wall Street to its home market of Germany as it seeks to draw a line under years of scandals and heavy losses.

But Europe’s slowing economy and action by the European Central Bank to cut borrowing costs is making it harder for Deutsche to grow.

The bank said it expected revenue at its core banking business to grow by just 1% in the run up to 2022, half the growth level estimated in July.

To arrive at that overall target, the bank cut growth forecasts for retail banking and wealth management to zero but predicted that its long-suffering investment bank would generate 2% more in earnings by 2022.

Deutsche said low interest rates would hurt its retail bank as well as corporate banking in the medium term, but predicted that stronger growth at its investment bank would partly make up for this.

The bank said it had taken steps to cope with low rates, including lending more and “selectively” passing on to customers the costs it faces for keeping cash at the central bank.

Deutsche stuck with its profitability targets and highlighted efforts to cut billions of euros in costs and spinning off unwanted assets.

Chief Executive Christian Sewing pointed to “significant progress” in recent months in turning around the bank in a statement ahead of the investor day.

Deutsche Bank’s shares, which have more than halved in value over the past two years, dropped slightly. They were trading down roughly 1% to 6.47 euros at 1235 GMT.

Andreas Thomae, a fund manager at Deka Bank, a Deutsche Bank investor, said the bank’s ability to grow was central.

“You have to give the bank about a year before you can pass judgment,” he told Reuters.

FILE PHOTO: A statue is pictured next to the logo of Germany's Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt, Germany September 30, 2016. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Deutsche said its bad bank - created to shed unwanted investments - was “running ahead of plan” and that its capital cushion would hold steady throughout its turnaround.

The European Central Bank had also cut the capital ratio requirement for the bank, following a review.

Earlier this year, the German government pushed for Deutsche to merge with rival Commerzbank. But the talks failed, leading Deutsche to announce a major revamp.

Reporting by Arno Schuetze and Patricia Uhlig. Writing by John O'Donnell. Editing by Jane Merriman

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