Strategy

Deutsche Bank Axes Staff Bonuses In Light Of $7.2 Billion US Fine

Josh O'Neill, Assistant Editor, 20 January 2017

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Approximately 75 per cent of employees “are not or hardly” affected by the bank's decision, according to its statement.

Deutsche Bank has moved to curtail bonus payments to its staff as it seeks to drive profits and soften the blow dealt by a $7.2 billion fine from the US Department of Justice.

Earlier this week, the DoJ said the German lender had finalised the terms of its colossal penalty relating to the sale of toxic mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis. 

In light of the charge, the Frankfurt-headquartered bank is looking to maximise revenues by increasing cost cuts as “there is some way to go to strengthen the bank and make it more profitable again,” Deutsche Bank's management team said in a statement. 

“Now that we have a clearer idea of the financial impact of the settlement with the US Department of Justice and our performance for the year, we feel that tough measures are unavoidable,” the statement read. “The management board has therefore decided to substantially limit bonus payments for 2016. In concrete terms, this means that employees with the corporate titles of vice president, director and managing director will receive the group variable compensation component but not any individual variable compensation component for the 2016 financial year.”

Approximately 75 per cent of employees “are not or hardly” affected by the bank's decision, according to its statement. 

“We are aware that many of you will be disappointed by this decision about 2016 bonuses. We know how hard you work for the bank. We recognise how committed you remained throughout the challenging days in the autumn – and indeed not only then. Today we are able to say that our bank is resilient thanks to your hard work and dedication. Unfortunately, this recognition will not be reflected in the amount of individual variable compensation this year. We sincerely regret this,” the management team said, adding that the bank intends to return to its normal compensation programme for the 2017 financial year.

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