Germany's largest lender, Deutsche Bank, has revised down its full-year earnings in the wake of increased litigation costs. The bank's two co-leaders can look forward to a marked hike in their 2013 salaries.
Deutsche Bank said Thursday it corrected its 2013 net profit to reflect a long-running, but completed legal dispute. The lender put last year's earnings at 681 million euros ($942 million), down from the 1.08 million euros originally reported in January.
The reduction by some 400 million euros came as a result of a legal battle over the collapse of the Leo Kirch media empire. Kirch had claimed former Deutsche Bank chief Rolf Breuer was responsible for his downfall after he openly questioned the client's creditworthiness in a televised interview.
Deutsche Bank stated planned dividend payouts would not be affected by the revision of figures for last year.
There was arguably no reason to complain for the bank's co-leaders, Anshu Jain and Jürgen Fitschen, who pocketed 7.5 million euros each for their performance in 2013. That compared with 4.9 million euros the two men collected each a year earlier.
The CEOs confirmed their plans to make Deutsche Bank leaner and more profitable by 2015. They said a comprehensive cost-cutting program was underway to save about 4.5 billion euros until next year.
"2014 will be a year full of challenges for us," Anshu Jain said in a statement, alluding also to stricter banking regulation and a lull in investment banking. Morgan Stanley analysts said they expected Deutsche Bank to lose out against in the sector against their US rivals which would be contrary to the lenders' own ambitions of becoming a major global player in investment banking.
Market pundits said sluggish investment business would result in even more job cuts at the bank, but there was no mention of it in its latest corporate report.
hg/kms (dpa, AFP, Reuters)