German banking group Deutsche Bank has implemented a companywide hiring freeze in a bid to cut costs and boost profitability.

The bank will put new hires on hold across all its units, but would continue to make external hires for crucial functions such as compliance and anti-financial crime operations, according to media reports.

The latest move by the lender comes as it pushed forward a plan announced in October 2015 to lay off 9,000 employees and about 6,000 external contractor positions.

Earlier this month, the bank announced plan to shed 1,000 jobs in its home market as part of this move, which is on top of the 3,000 job cuts announced in June 2016.

Problems have increased for the bank with the US Department of Justice’s (DoJ) proposal of a $14bn settlement last month for the bank’s handling of residential mortgage-backed securities and related transactions.