Deutsche Bank dodges Archegos bullet as it reports best quarter in seven years

Oscar Williams-Grut
·Senior City Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
·2-min read
CEO of Deutsche Bank Christian Sewing. Photo: Michael Probst/AP
CEO of Deutsche Bank Christian Sewing. Photo: Michael Probst/AP

Shares in Deutsche Bank (DBK.DE) surged on Wednesday as the German bank reported its best quarter in seven years

Deutsche Bank unveiled a pre-tax profit of €1.5bn ($1.8bn, £1.3bn) in the first three months of 2021 — its best quarterly performance since 2014. It compared to a profit of just €66m in the same period last year.

Profits surged across all core divisions of the business. Deutsche Bank's investment bank was the best performer, posting a 134% rise in pre-tax profits to €1.5bn.

Revenue across the bank grew by 14% to €7.2bn, which was the highest total since 2017.

Chief executive Christian Sewing put the strong performance down to tight control of costs and sensible risk management.

"Our first quarter is further evidence that Deutsche Bank is on the right path in all four core businesses, and is building sustainable profitability," he said. "In addition to substantial revenue growth over an already strong prior year quarter, we demonstrated cost and risk discipline"

Shares surged a much as 6% in Frankfurt.

Deutsche Bank shares surged on the quarterly update. Photo: Yahoo Finance UK
Deutsche Bank shares surged on the quarterly update. Photo: Yahoo Finance UK

Other banks have reported surging activity at investment banking divisions since the turn of the year. However, Deutsche Bank's strong performance sets it apart from European rivals Credit Suisse (CSGN.SW) and UBS (UBSG.SW), both of which have been dragged down by the implosion of Archegos Capital.

READ MORE: Credit Suisse raises $2bn after 'unacceptable' Archegos loss

Archegos was a New York family office that blew up in March, leaving banks that lent money to it sitting on huge losses. Losses disclosed across the industry so far total more than $10bn (£7.2bn).

Archegos was a client of Deutsche Bank but the German lender appears to have escaped relatively unscathed. Unlike rivals, Deutsche Bank makes no mention of the incident in its quarterly report. The bank is understood to have had a far smaller book of business with Archegos than many rivals and exited positions quickly, which minimised any damage.

Deutsche Bank's quarterly performance helps to vindicate Sewing's overhaul of the bank. Sewing took charge of the perennially underperforming lender in early 2018 and vowed to improve performance with a sweeping overhaul. His multi-year transformation plan included plans to axe 18,000 jobs globally and exit stock trading.

READ MORE: Archegos fallout: UBS loses $774m as Nomura crashes to worst loss in decade

Sewing said on Wednesday his transformation plans were on track.

"These results give us confidence that we’ll reach our 2022 targets," he said.

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