"We have to demonstrate that we play a valuable role in society and that we act with integrity and responsibility.”
In April 2013, when the Corporate Responsibility Report 2012 was published, Jürgen Fitschen and Anshu Jain, Co-Chairman of Deutsche Bank's Management Board, commented on the challenges for the financial sector and Deutsche Bank's goal to renew the contract with society and to strengthen the fabric of trust with all of our stakeholders:
These are challenging times for the financial sector. The trust in banks is at a record low due to perceived conflicts of interest and selfish behaviour. Stricter regulation is favoured in order to better control to the wide-ranging influence of financial institutions on the economy.
We must renew the contract with society and strengthen the fabric of trust with all of our stakeholders. We have to demonstrate that we play a valuable role in society and that we act with integrity and responsibility.
This goal can only be achieved through a profound change in culture. The clients, investors and others we consulted during our strategic review in 2012 left us in no doubt about that.
We want Deutsche Bank to be at the forefront of this culture change in our industry. We want to show that we are sensitive to the interests of society, that we create value for clients, employees and communities as well as shareholders.
This means combining a culture of performance with a culture of responsibility. We know it will not be easy. It will not happen overnight. But we began this process in 2012 when we adjusted our compensation practices so payments to our employees, dividends to investors and retained earnings are better balanced. We also redesigned our corporate performance standards underpinning individual goals for our employees around ethical principles. Ethical conduct is critical, especially in client relationships.
Client interactions are central to our business but implementing a culture of responsibility means understanding how these activities affect the environment and society.
We have a solid foundation because of the work we have done over the past years including the increased energy efficiency of our operations which are now carbon neutral. Deutsche Bank and its foundations were again among the world’s most active corporate citizens – despite the challenging market environment. We have a strong tradition of volunteering and almost 20,000 colleagues were involved in the environmental and community projects we support. Their commitment demonstrates that our people understand our wider responsibilities.
We are reviewing potential transactions and clients more critically than in the past. But we know that more will need to be done. We are under no illusions about the challenges ahead. Cultural change is not a quick fix. It cannot be dictated from the top, but will have to grow gradually as a result of outstanding individual conduct as well as new processes and principles.