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August 6, 2015

Stephan Leithner, Member of the Management Board, CEO Europe, Deutsche Bank AG, gave interview to SPIEF Review 2015, an official publication of the St.Petersburg International Economic Forum

Stephan Leithner, Member of the Management Board, CEO Europe, Deutsche Bank, spoke about a paradigm shift in how multinationals do business.

QUESTION: What global business risks would you consider the most significant?

ANSWER: The major global risks highlighted by the WEF are strongly intertwined and are resulting in huge migration flows which will confront the developed economies with major challenges. On the business side, the monetary policy measures of major central banks, which have resulted in record low interest rates, could lead to a collective underestimation of risks and financial bubbles.

Moreover, the developed and emerging economies are still struggling to adjust to lower trend growth rates, compared to the years before the global financial crisis. For the European banking industry in specific, the pressure on interest margins and risks associated with record-level stock and bond prices are prominent challenges.

Beyond that, additional risks stem from i) ever tighter regulation particularly with regard to capital and leverage ratios, ii) still too high expenditure levels, iii) a lack of credit demand from clients and iv) litigation and settlement costs.

QUESTION: Deutsche Bank reported a 2.5-fold increase in its year-on-year net profit for 2014. What measures were relevant with regard to minimizing costs and achieving positive results?

ANSWER: Founded in 1870 to advise and serve German Corporates in their most important markets, over the years Deutsche Bank expanded to equally demanding private clients and later to the globalizing capital markets. We have built a world class capital markets and advisory capability serving our clients around the world.

Deutsche Bank has become a better and safer bank over the last years, focusing on a client centric, global universal business model. We gained market share and reduced the size of our balance sheet in our investment bank.

Furthermore, we unlocked the potential of our asset and wealth management business. We strengthened our capital, boosting our key capital ratio. And we set out on a course of fundamental cultural change, based on our values and beliefs.

QUESTION: Multinational companies have significantly adjusted their long-term development programmes in view of the global economic crisis. What effect will this have on the technological and economic development of global companies? Can experience in anticrisis management open up new growth opportunities?

ANSWER: Today, our industry is in the midst of the next major paradigm shift. Digital technology is disrupting conventional business models. This is both a challenge and a tremendous opportunity. We have used digital technology to capture new revenues by offering clients online access to markets and investment advice. We use digital technology to enable our platform and we have partnerships with more than 500 start-ups to identify new opportunities based on digital technology. Deutsche Bank will become, increasingly, a Digital Bank.”

Published in  SPIEF Review, June 2015, pp. 27-28 and on SPIEF official website.


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