Debt crisis slams Deutsche Bank earnings

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Debt crisis slams Deutsche Bank earnings

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Not a good day for Deutsche Bank as it posted a big quarterly loss and was the target of anti-capitalism protestors at its headquarters who strung up a banner reading “German banks get out of tax havens” and arrested its chief executive Josef Ackermann in effigy.

The fourth-quarter pretax loss at Germany’s largest bank was 351 million euros as earning from investment banking evaporated amid the sovereign debt crisis.

The poor results spoiled Ackermann’s final earnings presentation as chief executive. The came only months before Ackermann hands the reins of Germany’s flagship lender to investment banker Anshu Jain and Germany chief Juergen Fitschen, who are due to take over as co-chief executives in May.

Deutsche Bank’s cash cow — revenue from trading debt products — was down 38 percent in the quarter.

Writedowns on the bank’s exposure to pharmaceuticals company Actavis, Cosmopolitan casinos and wealth manager BHF Bank led to a 722 million euro pretax loss in the corporate investments division.

It also set aside 380 million euros for litigation in the corporate banking and securities division.

One bright spot for Deutsche were the so-called “classical banking” businesses such as private banking, cash management and treasury services.

However, a pretax profit of 392 million from asset and wealth management and retail banking failed to offset a 422 million euros pretax loss from the corporate banking and securities division, the investment banking unit.