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Banking

Deutsche Bank chiefs call earnings ‘inadequate,’ vow profit rebound

Deutsche Bank’s co-CEOs Anshu Jain and Jürgen Fitschen are unhappy with the performance of Germany’s biggest lender, notably in fourth quarter of 2013. They have promised a return to its former strength by 2015.

Deutsche Bank's earnings, especially in the fourth quarter of 2013, were inadequate despite a full-year profit of 1.1 billion euros ($1.5 billion) in 2013, co-Chief Executive Anshu Jain said at the lender's annual news conference Wednesday.

The management of Germany's biggest private bank was not happy with the result, he said, adding that it represented an inadequate return to its shareholders.

Deutsche Bank posted a surprise loss of 965 million euros in the final quarter of last year, as earnings were burdened by 528 million in costs for court settlements and investigations into the bank's past misconduct. The lender is embroiled in a series of scandals regarding the US subprime mortgage crises and faces major penalties for its role in rigging benchmark interest and currency rates.

Noting that Deutsche Bank was expecting further costs arising from the scandals, Jain also said that a change of corporate culture had improved safeguards and general attitudes at the bank.

Jain's co-CEO, Jürgen Fitschen, added that Deutsche Bank was well on course for achieving its goals outlined in its "Strategy 2015" restructuring program.

"We are making good progress, knowing, however that the going is tough as we are heading into the future," he added.

Jürgen Fitschen and Anshu Jain took over the helm at Deutsche Bank in 2012 on the promise to cut annual costs by 4.5 billion euros within three years and to trim its balance sheet by reducing risky investments. The bank is to become more efficient and more stable, nevertheless, earning a 12 percent return on investment for shareholders. However in 2013, Deutsche Bank achieved just 1.9 percent.

uhe/kms (dpa, AP, Reuters)

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