Deutsche could trim US operations amid $14B settlement

Bank looking to scale back 9K jobs worldwide

345 Park Avenue, John Cryan and 4 Metrotech Center in Brooklyn
345 Park Avenue, John Cryan and 4 Metrotech Center in Brooklyn

Germany’s largest bank, Deutsche Bank AG, is considering scaling back its United States operations as part of plans to reduce its global workforce by 9,000 employees as legal expenses mount.

The bank is looking to trim its operations as part of a broader review of its strategy amid a potential $14 billion legal settlement with the U.S. Justice Department over residential mortgage-backed securities, Bloomberg News reported.

“For Deutsche Bank [TRDataCustom], there’s only one solution, which is to go on a diet,” Algebris Investments founder Davide Serra, who holds the bank’s debt, including the riskiest securities, told Bloomberg. “I think the diet comes in the investment-banking division mainly and in my expectation you are looking at a third of reduction of the balance sheet and a third reduction of the number of staff overall in the next two to three years.”

Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan last year announced a restructuring plan that seeks to eliminate 9,000 jobs, including 4,000 in its home market.

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In New York, the bank has offices at Paramount Group’s 60 Wall StreetRudin Management’s 345 Park Avenue and Forest City Ratner Companies’ 4 Metrotech Center in Brooklyn, according to CoStar Group. It also has offices in Jersey City.

Deutsche, which had been the top CRE lender in New York City, was knocked out of that spot in the second quarter by New York-based Signature Bank. The German institution is facing a massive fine from the SEC from its role in the subprime mortgage crisis.

The Real Deal reported in March that the bank was among the few mega-tenants in the market for 1 million square feet of space. [Bloomberg]Rich Bockmann