In a bid to reassure investors and staff on the bank’s financial stability amid a continuing sell-off in the bank’s shares, Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan said that the lender "remains rock-solid" with a strong capital and risk position.
In a letter to employees that was published on Deutsche Bank’s website, Cryan said the bank did not share the market’s concern about whether it had set aside funds to cover fines and other legal matters.
"We will almost certainly have to add to our legal provisions this year but this is already accounted for in our financial plan," Cryan revealed. The bank incurred EUR5.2bn of litigation charges in 2015.
Cryan said: "The management board talked about progress on our strategy, and how recent market volatility and forecasts for slowing economic growth might impact our clients and us. Volatility in the fourth quarter impacted the earnings of most major banks, especially those in Europe, and clients may ask you about how the market-wide volatility is impacting Deutsche Bank.
"You can tell them that Deutsche Bank remains absolutely rock solid, given our strong capital and risk position. On Monday, we took advantage of this strength to reassure the market of our capacity and commitment to pay coupons to investors who hold our Additional Tier 1 capital. This type of instrument has been the subject of recent market concern."
Cryan, who is attempting to overhaul Deutsche, wrote, "I am personally investing time to resolve successfully and speedily open regulatory and legal cases. I want to remove the uncertainty among staff and in the market that these cases cause. A small group of senior people, led by me, will focus on this. For everyone else, we ask you to continue to focus on our clients and on the implementation of our strategy."
In his letter, Cryan also said that the bank will hire more people in equity sales and research to regain leadership in the equities markets. The lender is also looking to bring on board some senior bankers into Corporate & Investment Banking.
Cryan stressed that Deutsche Bank will invest in client-facing technology, particularly in retail banking and asset management businesses.