As the 16th Euro Finance Week kicked off in Frankfurt on Monday, Jürgen Fitschen, Co-Chief Executive Officer, emphasized the importance of global universal banks both for a healthy global economy and a stable Europe. The event will see senior bankers and regulators debate the future and structure of Europe’s financial landscape over the remainder of the week.
Global universal banks are particularly important for Germany as a partner to the country’s businesses, Fitschen said. He added that Deutsche Bank remains committed to its business model, which combines a strong retail business with proven investment banking capabilities. “We believe in our strategy, and we intend to make the most of global growth opportunities for our clients,” Fitschen said. He pointed out that Deutsche Bank supports both domestic and international companies in their global endeavors: “Our clients value and appreciate this.”
Fitschen also said that it is time to recognize the importance of investment banking as an enabler of economic growth, adding that financial institutions have learnt lessons from their pre-crisis mistakes, for instance by exiting proprietary trading. “We have acknowledged this, as well as the need for more stability in the banking system,” he said. At the same time, it is important to realize that growth and prosperity cannot be achieved on deposit and lending activities alone, according to Fitschen.
He also underscored the need for far-reaching consolidation in the European banking sector, while affirming that banks today have more liquidity and significantly higher capital ratios. Five years after the financial crisis, the system is more stable due to stricter capital requirements, but there is more to do, Fitschen noted. In order to be prepared for the future, Europe needs a strong bond between the real economy and the financial sector, he said.
Fitschen emphasized that banks must undergo significant structural and cultural change to regain society’s trust. With regard to Deutsche Bank’s Strategy 2015+, he said: “Any strategy aiming to be effective and sustainable must be accompanied by cultural change.” He added that clients and business partners must be able to trust the Bank´s actions.
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