Troubled Deutsche Bank to push out British CEO: report

John Cryan, CEO of Germany's Deutsche Bank, acknowledged last month that financial results have not been as good as expected

Berlin (AFP) – Germany’s biggest lender, trouble-plagued Deutsche Bank, is to oust its British CEO John Cryan on Sunday and replace him with one of his deputies, news weekly Der Spiegel reported.

After weeks of speculation, the move is to come late Sunday during a supervisory board meeting at the bank’s Frankfurt headquarters. Spiegel said the bank would tap Christian Sewing, currently a deputy CEO and head of private banking, to take over in May.

Deutsche Bank, which declined to comment on the Spiegel report, called the surprise meeting “to discuss the chairmanship and to take a decision the same day,” it said in a statement Saturday.

While Cryan’s contract runs until 2020, press reports in recent days have suggested a rift over strategy with supervisory board chairman Paul Achleitner, who called Sunday’s meeting.

The choice of Sewing over investment banking chief Marcus Schenk, who had been discussed as a possible successor to Cryan, points to a strategic shift toward retail banking in its home market Germany.

Given sole command of the Frankfurt lender in 2016, Cryan’s task was to restructure Deutsche and clean up the toxic legacy of its pre-financial crisis bid to compete with global investment banking giants.

He has neutralised the worst legal threats, in part by paying billions in fines and compensation, strengthened Deutsche’s capital foundations with an 8-billion-euro ($9.8 billion) share issue last year and floated asset management division DWS on the stock market in March.

But “the financial results have so far not been what all of us would want them to be,” Cryan acknowledged in a letter to employees last month while fighting to keep his job, referring to an unexpected 751-million-euro loss reported for 2017.

While the bank said the loss was a one-off caused by US President Donald Trump’s corporate tax reform, investors have shunned Deutsche since the start of the year, with its stock dropping around 30 percent in value since January 1.

Business daily Handelsblatt said that Deutsche Bank remains what it was when Cryan took the helm: a chronic patient”.