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Deutsche Bank likely to axe 1,000 US investment bank jobs: source

[FRANKFURT] Deutsche Bank is expected to cut around 1,000 jobs or 10 per cent of its workforce in the United States, a person familiar with the matter said on Friday, as the German lender scales back its global investment banking ambitions.

The bank has already axed 400 US-based employees this week - of which around three quarters worked in its trading business and the rest in corporate finance, according to a second source who is a senior US-based Deutsche Bank official.

"I can tell you that the people who make money here will continue to get paid and be supported, because Deutsche Bank needs the revenue," the banker said. "The challenge now is to keep our people." Both sources spoke on condition of anonymity.

On Thursday, the bank announced that it would make"significant" cuts at its investment bank, scaling back its corporate finance operations in the United States and Asia, US government bond trading, and equities.

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It did not provide specific numbers or a timeframe.

"We do not see increased fluctuation in the core areas of the bank," the bank said in a statement emailed to Reuters on Friday. "Europe is the region in which we want to expand our market position. Here we want to grow and gain market share. Especially in Europe, we are the first choice for many investment bankers."

The credit ratings agency Moody's on Friday changed its outlook to "negative" on some of its Deutsche Bank ratings. The ouster of CEO John Cryan, his replacement with Christian Sewing, and changes in focus at the lender "highlight the strategic turmoil," Moody's said.

"It is not clear how management will create an investment bank more focused on European clients that can compete effectively against more diversified global peers, while also earning acceptable returns," the agency said.

A spokesman for Deutsche Bank declined to comment on the change in Moody's rating outlook.

The bank's shares fell 3.4 per cent on Friday. Credit Suisse analysts said they had cut their estimates for Deutsche Bank's revenue in 2020 by 20 per cent.

Credit ratings agency Standard & Poors, which had placed the bank on "credit watch" after the abrupt CEO change earlier this month, said late on Thursday that the bank's new direction"lacks the specificity that we need to assess the credibility of this adjusted approach."

Deutsche Bank's investment banking unit has been losing market share in recent years. In Europe so far this year, the bank has a 4 per cent market share in investment banking fees, down from 6 per cent of the market in 2013, according to ThomsonReuters data. Its ranking fell from second to sixth place.

In the United States during that same period, Deutsche's share of fees dropped to 3.3 per cent from 4.9 per cent. It ranks ninth, behind all the Wall Street power houses but also European rivals such as Barclays and Credit Suisse.

A large Deutsche investor called on the bank's leadership to explain its plans. "Deutsche Bank must quickly create clarity so that business doesn't evaporate," the person said.