Europe and the financial industry have faced watershed events in recent times and will indeed have to adjust to a new world, said Josef Ackermann in a lecture he gave at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy.
The occasion, which was attended by more than 500 students and representatives from the Italian financial and business sectors, underlined the strategic partnership between the Bank and the university over the last two years, said Ackermann. "This partnership is further proof that we firmly believe in Italy by investing in its future through scholarships for deserving students and financial support for key research programmes," he said.
Following the welcome address by Guido Tabellini, Rector of the university, and an introduction by Francesco Saita, Dean of Bocconi Graduate School, Ackermann outlined the events in Europe and the financial industry over recent years.
"For the financial industry, the financial crisis and the subsequent responses by markets and regulators resulted in a remodelling of its operating environment. For Europe, the watershed event has been and is the sovereign debt crisis and the fact that European sovereign debt has lost its status as a risk-free asset class," he said. The Chairman of the Management Board and GEC explained that Europe and financial industry actors are both finding it difficult to adjust to this new world. "Acceptance, merely accepting the inevitable, won't be enough. We must forcefully adjust to the fundamental changes in order to overcome the difficulties," he emphasised.
Ackermann explained that the financial industry will look radically different from what it was like before 2007 and that the changes will not remain without consequences for the overall economy. "As I look back, over the decades of my career, on my experience with critical situations both within banks and in the economy as a whole, I have time and again experienced that crises can indeed be a turning point for the better. In fact, Deutsche Bank and its home country, Germany, are good examples for this: The bank and the country emerged stronger than ever from the painful reforms they needed to implement. I am firmly convinced that Europe and its financial industry can do the same," he concluded.