Deutsche Bank Case

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This short report aims to give a brief overview of Deutsche Bank’s alarming situation and describe the sharp decrease of its profitability. It will briefly introduce the context of this crisis and aim to explain it through an analysis of one of the most used indicators of performance for banks, the return on equity (ROE).

Globally, banks have been facing big challenges in the last few years and continue to do so. As a result of the financial crisis, the regulators have tightened the minimum capital requirements with the aims to create a more solid and shock-resistant banking system especially for the so called Global Systemically Important Banks (G-SIBs). The Financial Stability Board is expecting to raise the total loss-absorbing capacity
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Notably, its share price has dropped 43% just in the last year, after the publication of the year losses of €6.8 billion (remarkably €2.8 billion more than the losses of 2008) . The ROE for the bank passed from 7.89% in 2010 to minus -9.02% at the end of 2015. Based on the figures in the latest interim report in July 2016 the ratio decreased further to -11.52% in June . Considering this trend, we need to take into account also that in recent years, the ROE was consistently below the cost of capital, eroding value. A company can increase its ROE in 2 ways: increasing the numerator - raising your net income - or decreasing the denominator – the equity capital. Banks represent generally a capital-intense business, and the introduction of tighter regulations is posing difficulties to the banks that aim to reduce their equity capital. It appears clear that the only way to achieve a better ROE is to attain a high financial leverage . The pre-financial crisis leverage level was impressive (71.73%), and today is 27.11%, above the standard of its direct competitors .The return on assets has also decreased in the last six years and has reached a negative level of -0.46%…show more content…
The answer is likely to be a combination of the elements presented in this report, and the fact that Deutsche Bank does not appear to have a clear path for resolving the issues it faces. Further, the portfolio of solutions that the bank has is restricted. Deutsche Bank cannot consider pivoting on other arms like UBS did around its wealth management division, neither considering the retail option, back in the fragmented home retail market, as Santander has done . Moreover, there is also the political implication of a possible government intervention, which is not allowed from the new EU regulation on public bailout . This will also create a precedent that Italy is keen to follow, to revamp its suffering banking
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