After ten years of crisis, mea culpa of president of Deutsche Bank

At the time of leaving his duties as chairman of the supervisory board of the first German bank, Paul Achleitner, confessed, unexpectedly, errors during his two successive terms.


It is not so frequent that the managers of large companies admit, when passing the hand, having a lot of mistakes, for many years. Paul Achleitner, the president of the supervisory board of the first German bank, Deutsche Bank, thus engaged, Thursday, May 19, before the shareholders gathered in general assembly, to a singular mea culpa.

The banker could certainly not leave the institution by ignoring financial scandals, abyssal losses, restructuring at the cost of massive posts, which have punctuated his two terms, over the past ten years. Long episodes of crisis due in part to the unbridled expansion policy carried out under the era of the charismatic Swiss boss Josef Ackermann, left in 2012, then to strategic errors since.

In what he describes as “honest self-assessment”, Mr. Achleitner affirms that in his arrival, in 2012, the bank “overestimated” its condition. “The apparent strength with which Deutsche Bank had come out of the financial crisis [of 2008]”, this “exaggeratedly good image of self” ultimately “hinders a necessary change”. “Who would have thought at the time, he launched, that we would have to spend billions of euros over the years in legal costs, penalties and payments amicably” or “that we were going to reduce the Deutsche Bank report of nearly 1,000 billion euros in the next ten years “?

recent recovery

Deutsche Bank has indeed become during this decade the most disturbing weak link in the banking sector. “Deutsche Bank is on a slide, the only question that worries us is whether there is sand below,” summed up the boss of another European banking giant in the mid -years. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) even qualified in 2016 the German bank as a main risk factor for the global financial system.

“I will not deny that the path has not always been straight, slipped Paul Achleitner, that several investment funds and small carriers called to think about his succession. Some of the things that were supposed to constitute a Solution actually aggravated the problem. Errors were made, and yes, I made it too. “But, ultimately, Deutsche Bank” remained an independent institution and the best chances of staying it. ”

This confession was facilitated by all recent recovery from the bank. In 2021, she published her best results since 2011. “Would we have liked to make this progress earlier? No doubt,” said the leader. “Am I satisfied in relation to what I imagined ten years ago? No, I am not.” The shareholders and employees of Deutsche Bank either.

/Media reports.