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Deutsche Bank Says ‘Sorry’ in Full-Page German Newspaper Ads

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest lender, has apologized in full-page German newspaper ads for misconduct that has cost the company billions.

The ad, signed by CEO John Cryan on behalf of the bank’s top management, ran Saturday in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and the Munich-based Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

The bank said its past conduct “not only cost us money, but also our reputation and trust.”

In December, Deutsche Bank agreed to a $7.2 billion settlement with the U.S. Justice Department over its dealings in opaque bonds based on home loans in 2005-2007. Losses on such bonds packaged and sold by major banks helped start the global financial crisis.

Other misconduct cases have included rigging widely-used interest benchmarks along with other big banks and money-laundering violations involving security trades Russia.

The ad said “we in the management committee and bank leadership as a whole will do everything in our power to keep such cases from happening again.”

Cryan, who became co-CEO with Anshu Jain in 2015 and sole CEO in 2016, had to present a 1.4 billion euro ($1.5 billion) loss for the full year 2016 at the company’s annual news conference on Thursday. Costs for legal settlements have played a role in weak earnings that have undermined the bank’s share price.

Cryan also delivered an extensive apology at the news conference.

Deutsche Bank is in the midst of a wrenching restructuring, cutting costs and shedding riskier assets to meet tougher regulation aimed at preventing another financial crisis.

A news report that the mortgage-bond settlement might be as high as $14 million led to sharp falls in the bank’s share price in September and October and fed speculation the bank might need to raise more capital or seek a government bailout. It did neither.

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