Co-CEOs of Deutsche Bank, Anshu Jain and Juergen Fitschen, acknowledged today that the bank’s “reputational risk has become more and more significant” and that it has some ways to go to win back public trust and overhaul corporate culture.
The bank has turned down overly risky deals, deferred bonuses for dealers, suspended several traders, and restricted trades, but the process will be a long one. Fitschen said at an event in Berlin a few weeks ago that the process to transform culture and rebuild reputation “takes time.”
There is currently an internal probe into alleged manipulation of global currency markets, part of a long list of investigations and fines that resulted from the financial crisis. It has already paid billions of euros in fines.
Lodged in one of the most quantitative and cut-throat industries, even Deutsche Bank is realizing that intangibles such as reputation and culture are becoming necessary, and not supplementary, components of its success. How it behaves will be its competitive advantage; if not, it will be its Achilles’ heel. The co-CEOs rightly acknowledge the path to revamp culture will be a curvilinear journey; embracing the ups-and-downs, instead of creating overly simplistic plans of linear growth, will be key to its success.