At around the time ECB Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny said that Italy may have to spend taxpayer funds to bail out insolvent banks, warning that "the difference between Italy and other states such as Germany and Austria is that, until now, in Italy there has not been any significant state aid or state takeovers of banks," and that "it therefore cannot be ruled out that it will be necessary for the state to take stakes (in banks) in some way," Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan sent a letter to employees in which he warned that following the Italian referendum, the economic environment "is a harbinger of renewed turbulence that could spill over from the political arena to the economy – with Europe particular endangered."
He also said Deutsche Bank still needed to finish negotiations with the U.S. Department of Justice, which has demanded $14 billion to settle claims the bank missold mortgage-backed securities. Cryan said he could not give details on how talks were progressing.
The rest of Cryan's "December message to employees" was, somewhat more enjoyable pep talk.
His full letter is below:
December message to employees from John Cryan
John Cryan, Deutsche Bank CEO, sent out the following message to the bank’s employees
I would like to share some thoughts from a meeting with the Australian Finance Minister Mathias Cormann just this morning. Together we visited our Digital Factory in Frankfurt Sossenheim. Minister Cormann was impressed by our “future forge”, where we develop and test new technologies. 400 people from 14 nations work together very closely on digital products and services for our clients.
We can be proud of what we are achieving here. This year I have visited the world’s biggest idea factory, Silicon Valley, several times and did so just recently with my colleagues from the management board. We met business partners and managers of companies such as Apple, Salesforce and Workday. But we also saw a lot of start-ups – many of whom presented surprising ideas.
What we can conclude after the days on the US West Coast is that we don’t have to hide away. With our Digital Factory and innovation labs in San Francisco, London and Berlin we are staying close to the latest trends. We also established our data lab in Dublin with an official launch in October. We are ready to accelerate our transformation into a technology-driven company to win back market share with new, cutting-edge ideas. As an example, we’ve just opened our “QuartierFuture” in Berlin, Europe’s most modern bank branch. It is a blueprint for connecting digital and analogue access points – and for how clients will want to be advised tomorrow.
Across the bank, we continue to make progress. Here are a few examples that illustrate what we have achieved:
- Our Asset Management business is now managing assets of EUR 600 billion across almost 2,800 portfolios using one single, global system. During the course of this IT project we decommissioned around 100 different applications. Not only does that make our employees' lives easier but their work more secure.
- Our investment bank is involved in some of the world’s most important mergers and acquisitions. We are an advisor on the largest cross-border transaction for a UK company since Vodafone bought Mannesmann: the planned takeover of Reynolds American by British American Tobacco. Furthermore, we are advising Siemens on the takeover of Mentor Graphics, a specialist for electronic design, in the United States.
- In Global Markets we are parting with 3,400 trading clients. What may appear to be bad news is actually the opposite. Garth Ritchie and his team took this deliberate step after recognising that a high proportion of our revenue in this business is generated by a small number of clients. An essential part of our Strategy 2020 is to become focused and less complex. That’s why we will focus on clients that use and rate our services the most.
Recent weeks have also underlined the importance of an intensive dialogue with our clients. And you continue to do an outstanding job in this respect. Thanks to your commitment and dedication we were able to win back trust. Karl von Rohr, Marcus Schenck, Christian Sewing and myself experienced this first-hand at a meeting with our advisory councils in Munich last Friday. We had the pleasure of hosting almost 200 guests – including a number of top representatives within the German economy with whom we’ve enjoyed strong connections for many years. There was plenty of acknowledgment for the way we’ve communicated actively with our clients and partners.
You are our most important ambassadors for communicating what we stand for. Deutsche Bank has many faces and voices – but it’s important that we all convey the same message. So please take advantage of the wealth of internal information, for example on our intranet where you can find facts, Q&A and videos on how we’re doing.
This is all the more important as the environment remains uncertain with a number of potentially frosty developments. The result of the constitutional referendum in Italy is a harbinger of renewed turbulence that could spill over from the political arena to the economy – with Europe particularly endangered. And we still need to conclude our negotiations with the US Department of Justice. Please understand that I can´t give you details on how this is progressing.
We’re now hitting the home stretch of a challenging year. Please remain as engaged as you have been. In recent weeks we have shown how resilient we are and this is very much a consequence of your commitment.
With best wishes,