Inside Deutsche Bank's cuts: "Report to the auditorium to be fired at 9.30am"
18,000 people are leaving Deutsche Bank. In London alone, around 3,200 people or 40% of the 7,990 people DB employs in the City should be on the streets. This morning, though, there was little sign of them.
A gaggle of journalists outside DB's London Wall office this morning were rewarded with...almost nothing. In two hours, one man appeared with a box, seemingly filled with food supplements. He was going home.
Inside London Wall, there were tales of tears and rumours that door passes would stop working at 11am - a threat that allegedly kept some people at home.
In New York, equities professionals were among those receiving a letter yesterday from CEO Christian Sewing acknowledging that, "this impacts people and affects their lives in a profound way." One said he arrived in the office early and was still able to login to the bank's systems. "They kept everyone out of the systems both physically and virtually over the weekend, but for now everything's open," he said.
However, he said members of the NY equities floor have been asked to attend ominous meetings later in the day: "9.30am is when most people in my division have been asked to report to the auditorium to be fired."
Other New York employees said people are being invited to these meetings even if they're on holiday.
In an email announcing the redundancies yesterday, Deutsche Bank chief administrative officer Lawrence Shaw said he understood that the restructuring was "unsettling" and will clearly have caused "concern." Following Christian Sewing's earlier threat to fire anyone leaking details to the press, Shaw also said DB staff shouldn't talk to the media. Threats of retribution seem somewhat dented now, however.
In Frankfurt, recent changes to German labour law making it easier for banks to fire people earning €234k or more could encourage Deutsche Bank to cut senior staff. One Frankfurt managing director said everything was strangely silent in the German head office this morning. "It's the quiet before the storm," he said. "We're expecting Asia, the U.S. and London to be first."
He added that questions remain over Christian Sewing's restructuring. "Who will ultimately own these new corporate relationships? - The new corporate bank or the corporate finance people? And are we really going to be able to compete in equity capital markets after losing all this talent?"
Photos: Tristan Bejawn, copyright eFinancialCareers
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