Deutsche Bank’s return to financial health persists into Q3

The moon shines next to the headquarters of the Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt, Germany, early Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020. (AP)
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Updated 29 October 2020

Deutsche Bank’s return to financial health persists into Q3

  • Chief financial officer James von Moltke said the government efforts to help businesses bridge the pandemic had helped

FRANKFURT: Deutsche Bank reported its third straight quarterly profit amid continuing government financial help for businesses during the coronavirus pandemic and as revenues rose at its investment bank division.

The bank said it made a profit of €309 million ($363 million) for the July to September period, in sharp contrast to an €832 million loss in the same quarter a year ago when the bank had a large restructuring charge.

CEO Christian Sewing said the bank was continuing to make progress on a long-term restructuring aimed at improving profits by shedding less profitable or riskier lines of business and cutting employee numbers.

“Our more focused business model is paying off and we see a substantial part of our revenue growth as sustainable,” Sewing said in a statement accompanying the earnings release.

Chief financial officer James von Moltke said the government efforts to help businesses bridge the pandemic had helped. 

He said there was “no question it’s been a supportive factor this year, for the economy as well as for the loan book.”

He added that the bank was not seeing “cliff effects” as different support measures expire.

“Will this support be a sufficient bridge... through the pandemic?,” he said on a conference call with journalists. 

“The evidence so far gives cause for optimism.”

Help for businesses has included temporary salary support programs that pay most of workers’ wages so that companies can avoid layoffs, as well as a moratorium in Germany that allowed financially troubled companies to delay filing insolvency proceedings.

Governments have also suspended taxes and increased deficit spending, while the European Central Bank is pouring €1.35 trillion in newly printed money into the economy through regular bond purchases, a step which has helped prevent turmoil on financial markets.

Third-quarter results were boosted by lower losses from the capital release unit aimed at exiting businesses and investments the bank no long considers part of its long-term strategy. 

Revenues at the investment bank unit rose 43 percent to €2.4 billion. Money that had to be set aside to cover loans that are not being repaid increased 56 percent to €273 million in the quarter from the year-ago quarter, but fell from €761 million in the previous quarter.

The bank said it was on target to reach all of its financial and strategic goals included in its restructuring, aimed at exiting a period of low profitability and regulatory and legal issues that cost the bank billions. 

It continued to shed employees, lowering headcount to 87,000 at the end of the July-September quarter from 90,000 a year earlier.


Saudi central bank governor expects more competition, growth in fintech

Updated 01 December 2020

Saudi central bank governor expects more competition, growth in fintech

  • SAMA issued several regulations and systems related to fintech, as part of its efforts to promote the sector

DUBAI: The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) expects more competition and growth in the new sectors such as financial technology (fintech), as well as the conventional industries of the capital market, including banks, said Governor Ahmed Alkholeify.

Speaking during the opening session of “Fintech Tour 2020”, the SAMA governor stated that the central bank took a key step towards activating the Sandbox experimental environment, which resulted in the establishment of 32 fintech firms.

In addition, SAMA issued several regulations and systems related to fintech, as part of its efforts to promote the sector and achieve the targets of the financial sector development program, he added.

Meanwhile, Mohammed El-Kuwaiz, chairman, Capital Market Authority (CMA) highlighted the importance of innovation in fintech-related solutions in the capital market, adding that fintech enables the capital market to capitalize and reach out to more segments of companies and investors who previously had no access to the capital market.

"This technology has successfully delivered services to the largest possible number of people. We are excited about what fintech can provide for the capital market in terms of broadening its base of participants and beneficiaries."

El-Kuwaiz also indicated that fintech solutions are innovative by nature, and hence require tailored regulatory frameworks.

The CMA continues to motivate and enable entrepreneurs, with three rounds of licensing fintech companies completed, resulting in licensing of 15 firms in various domains, the chairman stated.

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