Deutsche Bank makes profit on cost cuts, trading income

A few lights are on in the offices of the Deutsche Bank headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021 as the partial lockdown in Germany goes on. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
A few lights are on in the offices of the Deutsche Bank headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021 as the partial lockdown in Germany goes on. (AP Photo/Michael Probst) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

FRANKFURT – Deutsche Bank made a profit of 624 million euros ($748 million) during the pandemic year 2020 as bond trading revenues grew and the German bank met its target for cutting costs.

The yearly net profit compared to a loss of 5.26 billion euros in 2019, when earnings were hit by large one-time charges. For the fourth quarter of 2021, the bank made net profit of 189 million euros.

The bank reduced non-interest expenses by 15% to 21.2 billion euros and has cut costs for 12 straight quarters, management said in a statement Thursday. The cuts are part of a long-term transformation aimed at reducing riskier or less profitable lines of business and refocusing on its European and German client base.

Revenues for the year rose 32% to 9.3 billion euros at the investment banking division, boosted by a 28% jump in trading fixed income securities and currencies. The corporate banking and private banking divisions saw essentially flat revenues and asset management revenues fell 4%.

CEO Christian Sewing said the year was a transition period on the way to sustainable profitability going forward in 2021 and beyond: "We are confident this overall positive trend will continue in 2021 despite these challenging times."