Deutsche Bank stock tumbled by about 6% today with U.S.-listed shares falling as low as $18.98 after CEO John Cryan warned that they might not turn a profit this year. He didn’t rule it out entirely though as he said the bank might post either a “small profit” or a “small loss.”
Deutsche Bank probably won’t be profitable in 2016
Bloomberg reports that currently they’re not expecting 2016 to be a profitable year, however, as Cryan expressed a great deal of uncertainty of what lies in the year ahead. He said that “there’s a lot of stuff” Deutsche Bank must do this year, which is why they won’t turn a profit.
Cryan took the helm last year and has been focusing on increasing profitability at the lender and raising capital buffer. He has slashed thousands of workers, eliminated the bank’s dividend, and sold off some assets. However, Deutsche Bank is battling legal problems at the same time, and charges connected to past misconduct have been weighing on its profitability as it posted its first annual loss since 2008 last year, said Bloomberg.
The executive said that by later this year, he expects to resolve two of the bank’s biggest legal problems, which are the U.S. residential mortgage backed securities investigation and allegations of money laundering in the bank’s Russian operations. As of the end of December, Deutsche Bank had set aside $6.1 billion to settle litigation, but for now it’s unclear whether that will be enough.
Deutsche Bank struggles in the current market
The bank has also taken a hit as trading and investment banking declined 30% in the fourth quarter. Record low interest rates in Europe, plus tumbling energy prices and declining growth in emerging markets have weighed on its results. Cryan also warned that their first quarter isn’t shaping up very well either, according to Bloomberg, which also reports that usually the fourth quarter brings in the biggest revenue share of all four quarters in the year.
Now with his warnings about profitability, investors have yet another reason to be concerned about whether his efforts to boost profitability will have any noticeable impact. He also said Deutsche Bank must find way to make itself “more efficient” and that they must “maintain to some extent our revenues” while also selling off “a lot of businesses.”