Media Release February 4, 2021

Deutsche Bank announces 1 billion euros profit before tax in 2020

Christian Sewing – Deutsche Bank announces 1 billion euros profit before tax in 2020

Profitable in all four quarters despite impact of transformation and COVID-19

  • Full-year net profit of 624 million euros; profit before tax of 1.0 billion euros
  • Fourth-quarter 2020 net profit of 189 million euros

Significant growth in Core Bank profitability in 2020

  • Profit before tax of 3.2 billion euros, up six-fold over 2019
  • Adjusted profit before tax¹ up 52% to 4.2 billion euros
  • Fourth quarter profit before tax of 591 million euros versus prior year loss

Revenue growth continued into the fourth quarter

  • Full year 2020 Group net revenues rose 4% to 24.0 billion euros
  • Fourth quarter Group net revenues grew 2% to 5.5 billion euros
  • Core Bank full year net revenues up 6% to 24.3 billion euros

Cost reduction remains on target

  • Noninterest expenses down 15% to 21.2 billion euros for the year and down 21% to 5.0 billion euros in the fourth quarter
  • 2020 adjusted costs, ex-transformation charges¹ and Prime Finance-related reimbursable expenses down 9% to 19.5 billion euros, on target, and down 8% to 4.6 billion euros in the fourth quarter
  • Twelve successive quarters of year-on-year reductions in quarterly adjusted costs ex-transformation charges¹ and bank levies
  • 85% of transformation effects¹ anticipated through 2022 fully recognised

Capital Release Unit maintains progress on de-risking

  • Risk weighted assets of 34 billion euros at year-end, down 25% in 2020
  • Leverage exposure of 72 billion euros, down 43% during the year
  • 2020 loss before tax of 2.2 billion euros, versus 3.2 billion euros in 2019

Continued disciplined management of capital, risk and balance sheet

  • Common Equity Tier 1 ratio strengthened to 13.6% in fourth quarter
  • Liquidity reserves of 243 billion euros, up 21 billion euros year-on-year
  • Provision for credit losses of 251 million euros in the fourth quarter and 1.8 billion euros, 41 basis points of average loans, for the full year

¹ For a description of this and other non-GAAP financial measures, see ‘Use of non-GAAP financial measures’ on pp 17-18

Christian Sewing, Chief Executive Officer, said: “In the most important year of our transformation, we were able to more than offset transformation-related effects and elevated credit provisions – despite the global pandemic. With profit before tax of a billion euros, we’re ahead of our own expectations. We have built firm foundations for sustainable profitability, and are confident that this overall positive trend will continue in 2021, despite these challenging times.”

Deutsche Bank (XETRA: DBKGn.DB / NYSE: DB) reported a net profit for the full year 2020 and remained on track for all strategic and financial objectives, six quarters into its transformation. Significant profit growth in the re-focused Core Bank more than offset the costs of transformation together with elevated provisions for credit losses. Strong capital and liquidity reserves enabled Deutsche Bank to support clients resolutely during 2020.

Revenue growth and disciplined execution drives profit growth in 2020

Full year 2020 profit was 624 million euros, with profit before tax of 1.0 billion euros, versus a loss of 5.3 billion euros, and a loss before tax of 2.6 billion euros, in 2019.

Fourth quarter 2020 Group profit was 189 million euros, versus a loss of 1.5 billion euros in the fourth quarter of 2019. Pre-tax profit was 175 million euros, compared to a 1.3 billion euro loss before tax in the prior year quarter. The tax benefit of 14 million euros in the quarter was mainly driven by the release of provisions from prior periods, and tax effects related to share-based payments.

The Core Bank, which excludes the Capital Release Unit, delivered significant fourth-quarter and full-year profit growth. For 2020, profit before tax was up six-fold to 3.2 billion euros, versus 536 million euros in 2019, while adjusted profit before tax1, which excludes specific revenue items, transformation charges, impairments of goodwill and other intangibles and restructuring and severance, rose 52% to 4.2 billion euros.

Core Bank fourth-quarter profit before tax was 591 million euros, compared to a loss before tax of 435 million euros in the fourth quarter of 2019. Adjusted profit before tax1 more than doubled to 1.0 billion euros in the quarter.

The Capital Release Unit significantly reduced losses in 2020, primarily due to a 43% reduction in noninterest expenses and a 39% reduction in adjusted costs1. The Unit’s full year 2020 loss before tax was 2.2 billion euros, down from a loss of 3.2 billion euros in 2019. In the fourth quarter, the Unit reported a loss before tax of 417 million euros, a reduction of more than half versus a loss before tax of 858 million euros in the prior year quarter.

The Capital Release Unit maintained its progress on de-risking. In the fourth quarter, the Unit reduced risk weighted assets (RWAs) by 5 billion euros to 34 billion euros, versus a target of 38 billion euros. Leverage exposure was reduced by a further 18 billion euros in the quarter to 72 billion euros, compared to guidance of 80 billion euros. As at year-end 2020, RWAs have been reduced by more than half, and leverage exposure by approximately three-quarters, since year-end 2018. 

Six quarters of disciplined execution contributed to a significant reduction in transformation-related effects¹ in 2020, which increased the positive impact of Core Bank profitability on Group results. Valuation adjustments on deferred tax assets were 37 million euros in 2020, down from 2.8 billion euros in 2019. Transformation-related goodwill impairments, which were 1.0 billion euros in 2019, did not recur in 2020. Transformation charges¹ declined by more than half, from 1.1 billion euros in 2019 to 490 million euros in 2020, while restructuring and severance charges fell 15% to 688 million euros. As at 31 December 2020, 85% of total anticipated transformation-related effects¹ through 2022 were fully recognised.

Revenue growth driven by client financing and risk management needs

Net revenues were 24.0 billion euros, up 4%, in 2020. In the fourth quarter, net revenues were 5.5 billion euros, up 2% year-on-year, despite a negative revenue impact of 104 million euros relating to the sale of Postbank Systems AG at the end of the quarter which impacted the Corporate Bank and Private Bank. Core Bank net revenues were 24.3 billion euros for the year, up 6%, and 5.5 billion euros in the fourth quarter, essentially flat year-on-year and up 2% excluding specific items¹.

In Deutsche Bank’s core businesses:

  • Corporate Bank net revenues were 5.1 billion euros in 2020, and 5.2 billion euros ex-specific items¹, down 2% and essentially flat if adjusted for currency translation effects.  The Corporate Bank largely offset interest rate headwinds through deposit repricing, which covered 78 billion euros of deposits at year-end, ahead of plan and up from 68 billion euros at the end of the third quarter.

Fourth quarter net revenues were 1.2 billion euros, down 4%, or essentially flat if adjusted for currency translation effects and specific items¹ which included the aforementioned negative impact from the sale of Postbank Systems. Global Transaction Banking revenues were down 6%, or down 3% adjusted for currency translation. Commercial Banking was up 1%, or up 6% excluding specific items, driven in part by deposit re-pricing.

  • Investment Bank net revenues were up 32% to 9.3 billion euros in 2020. Revenues in Fixed Income & Currencies (FIC) Sales & Trading rose 28%, reflecting four consecutive quarters of double-digit growth, while Origination & Advisory revenues were up 34%. Revenue growth reflected both supportive market conditions and market share gains in Investment Grade Debt Origination (source: Dealogic). In the debt capital markets, Deutsche Bank helped clients raise a record 1.7 trillion euros, up 43% year on year.

Fourth quarter net revenues rose 24% to 1.9 billion euros, driven by a 52% rise in Origination & Advisory to 532 million euros and a 17% rise in FIC Sales & Trading revenues to 1.4 billion euros, reflecting strong growth in Credit, Emerging Markets and FX revenues. Deutsche Bank led the European Union’s inaugural Social Bond, raising 17 billion euros, and ranked no. 1 in Origination & Advisory in Germany in the fourth quarter (source: Dealogic). The Investment Bank achieved these results while simultaneously reducing costs and maintaining risk and capital discipline.

  • Private Bank net revenues were 8.1 billion euros, down 1%, and essentially flat if adjusted for specific items¹ which included a negative impact of 88 million euros arising from the sale of Postbank Systems. The Private Bank largely offset significant interest rate headwinds and the impact of COVID-19 through business growth. This included net inflows of investment products, across four consecutive quarters, of 16 billion euros, net new client loans of 13 billion euros, and deposit repricing agreements on accounts with a total value of 9 billion euros. Revenues in the Private Bank Germany, which included the negative impact on the Postbank Systems sale, declined 2% to 5.0 billion euros, while revenues in the International Private Bank were essentially flat at 3.1 billion euros.

Fourth quarter net revenues were 2.0 billion euros, down 1% on a reported basis, and up 1% ex-specific items¹ which included the negative impact on the sale of Postbank Systems. Sustained business growth, and higher fee income from insurance partnerships, largely offset headwinds from interest rates and COVID-19. Fourth-quarter net inflows of investment products were 3 billion euros, and net new client loans were 4 billion euros.

  • Asset Management net revenues were 2.2 billion euros, down 4% in 2020. In the fourth quarter, net revenues were 599 million euros, down 11%, or 9% on a currency-adjusted basis, reflecting the non-recurrence of certain significant performance fees in the prior year quarter. Management fees remained essentially stable year-on-year, as the positive impact of client flows and market development offset industry-wide margin compression.  

Net asset inflows were 14 billion euros in the quarter, bringing full-year net inflows to a record 30 billion euros. This included 9 billion euros in environmental, social and governance (ESG) assets. Assets under Management ended 2020 at 793 billion euros, up by 25 billion euros over the year. The year-end total included 91 billion euros in ESG assets, up 23%.

Further progress on costs, with full-year 2020 target delivered

Noninterest expenses were down 15% to 21.2 billion euros in 2020. Deutsche Bank achieved its full-year target of 19.5 billion euros, down 9%, in adjusted costs ex-transformation charges¹ and Prime Finance-related reimbursable expenses. The bank reaffirmed its 2022 targets for adjusted cost reduction.

In the fourth quarter, noninterest expenses were 5.0 billion euros, down 21% year-on-year. Adjusted costs ex-transformation charges¹ were reduced by 8% to 4.6 billion euros if adjusted for 81 million euros of expenses eligible for reimbursement related to Prime Finance. Deutsche Bank has now delivered twelve consecutive quarters of year-on-year reductions in quarterly adjusted costs ex-transformation charges and bank levies¹.

Provision for credit losses in line with guidance

For the full year 2020, provision for credit losses was 1.8 billion euros, versus 723 million euros in 2019. At 41 basis points of average loans, provisions were in line with Deutsche Bank’s guidance of between 35 and 45 basis points of average loans for the year. Including fourth-quarter provisions, allowances for credit losses were 4.8 billion euros, or 111 basis points of loans, as at 31 December 2020, versus 4.0 billion euros at the end of 2019.

Fourth-quarter provision for credit losses was 251 million euros, 23 basis points of average loans on an annualised basis, in line with guidance, as Deutsche Bank continued to benefit from a high-quality loan book and disciplined risk management framework.

Maintained capital, balance sheet and liquidity strength

The Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) ratio rose from 13.3% to 13.6% during the fourth quarter, and thus ended 2020 essentially unchanged versus year-end 2019 and 316 basis points above regulatory requirements. The fourth-quarter development reflected the positive impact of changes to Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR 2), and a positive contribution from the aforementioned progress on de-risking in the Capital Release Unit. These were partly offset by the impact of RWA increases to support growth in core businesses.

An expected increase in RWA of approximately 4 billion euros related to the European Central Bank’s Targeted Review of Internal Models (TRIM), originally anticipated in the fourth quarter of 2020, is now expected in 2021.

The Leverage Ratio increased to 4.7% (fully loaded) in the quarter, up 24 basis points over the previous quarter, excluding certain central bank deposit balances. Including these balances, the Leverage Ratio would have been 4.3% at year-end, up from 4.1% in the previous quarter. The quarter-on-quarter increase predominantly reflects the aforementioned positive capital effects. On a phase-in basis, the Leverage Ratio rose from 4.5% to 4.8% in the quarter.   

Liquidity Reserves were 243 billion euros at the end of 2020, 21 billion euros higher than at year-end 2019. The Liquidity Coverage Ratio was 145% and the surplus over regulatory requirements was 66 billion euros.

More than 40 billion euros in sustainable financing and investment

Sustainable financing and investment volumes were over 40 billion euros in 2020, well ahead of the bank’s target threshold of 20 billion euros for the year. Sustainable financing volumes in the Investment Bank exceeded 20 billion euros, while the Corporate Bank provided its clients more than 5 billion euros of ESG financing. The Private Bank’s contribution to Deutsche Bank’s 2020 sustainable finance and investing targets included 4 billion euros of loans in Private Bank Germany and 11 billion euros of investment products as at year-end.

In addition, Asset Management attracted 9 billion euros of net inflows into ESG assets during 2020. The ESG share of total net inflows, at 30%, increased fourfold over 2019. At year-end, Asset Management’s ESG assets of 91 billion euros represented over 11% of total Assets under Management.

Sustainability governance further strengthened

The bank launched the Sustainability Committee of the Management Board, the bank’s highest level decision-making body with respect to sustainability, chaired by the CEO Christian Sewing. Deutsche Bank recently published its Green Financing Framework, paving the way for a wider range of green financing options for both the bank and clients. In the fourth quarter, the bank announced plans to tie the compensation of top-level executives to additional sustainability criteria from 2021.   

Read the full media release in the downloadable PDF.

About Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank provides retail and private banking, corporate and transaction banking, lending, asset and wealth management products and services as well as focused investment banking to private individuals, small and medium-sized companies, corporations, governments and institutional investors. Deutsche Bank is the leading bank in Germany with strong European roots and a global network.

Forward-Looking Statements

This release contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts; they include statements about our beliefs and expectations and the assumptions underlying them. These statements are based on the plans, estimates and projections currently available to the management of Deutsche Bank. Forward-looking statements therefore speak only as of the date they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update any of them in light of new information or future events. By their very nature, forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. A number of important factors could therefore cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement. Such factors include the conditions in the financial markets in Germany, in Europe, in the United States and elsewhere from which Deutsche Bank derives a substantial portion of its revenues and in which the bank holds a substantial portion of its assets, the development of asset prices and market volatility, potential defaults of borrowers or trading counterparties, the implementation of strategic initiatives of the bank, the reliability of the bank’s risk management policies, procedures and methods, and other risks referenced in the bank’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Such factors are described in detail in the bank’s SEC Form 20-F of 20 March 2020 under the heading “Risk Factors”. Copies of this document are readily available upon request or can be downloaded from

Basis of Accounting

Results are prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as endorsed by the European Union, including, from 2020, application of portfolio fair value hedge accounting for non-maturing deposits and fixed rate mortgages with pre-payment options  (the “EU carve-out”). For the three-month period ended December 31, 2020, application of the EU carve out had a negative impact of 48 million euros on profit before taxes and of 26 million euros on profit. For the full-year, 2020, application of the EU carve out had a positive impact of 18 million euros on profit before taxes and of 12 million euros on profit post taxes. The Group’s regulatory capital and ratios thereof are also reported on the basis of the EU carve out version of IAS 39. The impact on profit also impacts the calculation of the CET1 capital ratio and had a positive impact of less than 1 basis point as of December 31, 2020. In any given period, the net effect of the EU carve-out can be positive or negative, depending on the fair market value changes in the positions being hedged and the hedging instruments.

Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures

This report and other documents we have published or may publish contain non-GAAP financial measures. Non-GAAP financial measures are measures of our historical or future performance, financial position or cash flows that contain adjustments that exclude or include amounts that are included or excluded, as the case may be, from the most directly comparable measure calculated and presented in accordance with IFRS in our finan­cial statements. Examples of our non-GAAP financial measures, and the most directly comparable IFRS financial measures, are as follows:


Non-GAAP Financial Measure
Net income attributable to Deutsche Bank shareholders

Revenues excluding specific items
Adjusted costs, Adjusted costs excluding transformation charges, Adjusted costs excluding transformation charges and expenses eligible for reimbursement related to Prime Finance

Adjusted Profit (loss) before tax, Profit (loss) attributable to Deutsche Bank shareholders
Tangible shareholders’ equity, Average tangible shareholders’ equity, Tangible book value, Average tangible book value

Post-tax return on average shareholders’ equity (based on Net income attributable to Deutsche Bank shareholders)

Post-tax return on average tangible shareholders’ equity

Tangible book value per basic share outstanding, Book value per basic share outstanding


Most Directly Comparable IFRS Financial Measure

Net income
Net revenues
Noninterest expenses
Profit (loss) before tax
Total shareholders’ equity (book value)
Post-tax return on average shareholders’ equity
Post-tax return on average shareholders’ equity
Book value per share outstanding

Adjusted profit (loss) before tax is calculated by adjusting the profit (loss) before tax under IFRS for specific revenue items, transformation charges, impairments of goodwill and other intangibles, as well as restructuring and severance expenses.

Specific revenue items generally fall outside the usual nature or scope of the business and are likely to distort an accurate assessment of the divisional operating performance.

Adjusted costs are calculated by deducting (i) impairment of goodwill and other intangible assets, (ii) litigation charges, net and (iii) restructuring and severance from noninterest expenses under IFRS.

Transformation charges are costs included in adjusted costs that are directly related to Deutsche Bank’s transformation as a result of the new strategy announced on July 7, 2019 and certain costs related to incremental or accelerated decisions driven by the changes in our expected operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Such charges include the transformation-related impairment of software and real estate, the accelerated software amortization and other transformation charges like onerous contract provisions or legal and consulting fees related to the strategy execution.

Transformation-related effects are financial impacts resulting from the strategy announced on July 7, 2019. These include transformation charges, goodwill impairments in the second quarter 2019, as well as restructuring and severance expenses from the third quarter 2019 onwards. In addition to the aforementioned pre-tax items, transformation-related effects on a post-tax basis include pro-forma tax effects on the aforementioned items and deferred tax asset valuation adjustments in connection with the transformation of the Group.

Expenses eligible for reimbursement related to Prime Finance: BNP Paribas and Deutsche Bank have signed a master transaction agreement to provide continuity of service to Deutsche Bank’s Prime Finance and Electronic Equities clients. Under the agreement Deutsche Bank will continue to operate the platform until clients can be migrated to BNP Paribas, and expenses of the transferred business are eligible for reimbursement by BNP Paribas.

For descriptions of non-GAAP financial measures and the adjustments made to the most directly comparable IFRS financial measures to obtain them, please refer to pages 3-13 and 17-29 of the financial data supplement which is available at:

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