Deutsche Bank CEO blasts execs over suit fitting on day of layoffs

Deutsche Bank CEO blasts execs over suit fitting on day of layoffs

A man walks past Deutsche Bank offices in London
FILE PHOTO: A man walks past Deutsche Bank offices in London. (Photo: REUTERS/Luke MacGregor/File Photo)

FRANKFURT AM MAIN, Germany: The chief executive of Deutsche Bank, Germany's biggest lender, said he has personally rebuked managers who ordered tailors to fit suits at their London office as thousands of traders were let go Monday (Jul 12).

"I expect the two colleagues won't forget my call," Christian Sewing told German business daily Handelsblatt's Friday edition.

"I can't understand that someone would call tailors to fit suits on Monday. On the same day, we had to tell many colleagues in share trading that they had to leave as we were closing their department."

READ: Commentary: Deutsche Bank’s bankers were alienated from their jobs

Some media had assumed the pictures of men carrying suit bags out of the office on Monday showed departing employees, when in fact they were there for a fitting.

London-based Financial News reported the custom-tailored outfits from Fielding and Nicholson were worth as much as £1,500 (US$1,882) each.

Under Sewing and previous chief executive John Cryan, Deutsche Bank has been struggling to shake off an image of being focused only on relentless growth and big bonuses that it acquired in the years before and after the financial crisis.

The Frankfurt-based group has forked out billions of euros in lawsuits and other scandals over its conduct during its breakneck expansion prior to 2008.

Sewing told Handelsblatt the London managers' "behaviour in no way corresponds with our values."

This week's layoffs were part of a massive restructuring that will see much of the bank's share trading business shuttered or sold off, while it refocuses on its traditional strengths servicing corporate clients.

READ: Commentary: Despite layoffs, Deutsche Bank strategy on track at last

Many analysts have hailed the moves, set to include a total of 18,000 layoffs, as necessary to re-energise the troubled behemoth, but some have asked whether the changes come too late to save Deutsche Bank from decline and a possible takeover.

Shares in the group were trading at 6.71 euros around 9.30am (0730 GMT) in Frankfurt Friday, topping the DAX index of blue-chip stocks - but remained down 6.5 per cent since Monday.

"We are getting a little smaller, but also much more efficient and profitable. The strategy has finally created clarity over our future," Sewing said.

Source: AFP/nc