Deutsche Bank

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  Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft
Country GermanyGermany Germany
Seat Frankfurt am Main
legal form Corporation
ISIN DE0005140008
Bank code 500 700 10
founding March 10, 1870 in Berlin

New establishment January 1, 1957

Business data 2019
Total assets 1,298 billion  euros  (Dec. 31, 2019)
Employee 87,597  (Dec. 31, 2019)
Board Christian Sewing
( Chairman )
Karl von Rohr
Fabrizio Campelli
Frank Kuhnke
Bernd Leukert
Stuart Lewis
James von Moltke
Christiana Riley
Werner Steinmüller
Supervisory board Paul Achleitner
( Chairman )

The German Aktiengesellschaft ( Listen ? / I ) is the by total assets largest number of employees and bank in Germany. The company, which is based in Frankfurt am Main , operates as a universal bank and has significant branches in London , New York City , Singapore , Hong Kong and Sydney . In 2018, around 41,600 people worked for the bank in Germany and 91,700 worldwide. The bank attaches particular importance to investment banking with the issue of shares , bonds and certificates . Under the DWS Investments brand, Deutsche Bank is the largest provider of mutual funds in Germany with a market share of around 26 percent. In 2010, their market share in retail banking in Germany, including Postbank, was around 15 percent. After the savings banks and the group of cooperative Volks- und Raiffeisenbanken , Deutsche Bank is number three in its home country. Audio file / audio sample

The bank has been classified as a systemically important financial institution by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and has been on the list of global systemically important banks since 2011 . It is therefore subject to special monitoring and stricter requirements for the endowment with equity . Due to the international links, a failure of the bank is considered to be associated with a high risk for the international financial markets. It must therefore have a surcharge of 1.5 percentage points on equity based on the Basel III standards .

Business activity

Deutsche Bank has an important international position in investment banking and also in private customer business. In order to manage the business, the bank is structured in several levels according to business areas and regions. The headquarters of the company is Frankfurt. Individual business areas in investment banking are based in London or New York. The bank differentiates between institutional clients in the bond and securities business. These are looked after in the Global Markets division . The Corporate Finance division is available for special financing in corporate banking (company acquisitions, IPOs ) . The Transaction Banking division provides its customers with systems and resources to handle their ongoing (including international) business. There are two segments in the private customer business: particularly wealthy customers are offered special individual support in Asset & Wealth Management ; the Private & Business Clients division conducts standard business with the majority of private customers as well as with small and medium-sized companies.

Europe is the DWS Group with more than 150 billion euros managed fund assets of a leading mutual fund societies and also plays in the Islamic banking system now with partners at the global players with. Here, Deutsche Bank and Dar al Istithmar run a global think tank for the Islamic finance industry in London .


proportion of Shareholders
4.49% BlackRock
3.14% Douglas L. Braunstein
(Hudson Executive Capital LP)
3.10% Capital Group Companies , Los Angeles
3.05% Paramount Services Holdings , British Virgin Islands
3.05% Supreme Universal Holdings , Cayman Islands
3.00% Cerberus Capital Management
(Stephen A. Feinberg)

Deutsche Bank has been one of the leading German listed companies since the end of the Second World War. Its shares are traded on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and, since 2001, on the New York Stock Exchange and are part of various indices, including the DAX . Since the share had lost value from mid-2015 and market capitalization had shrunk to around EUR 18 billion, it was temporarily removed from the Euro Stoxx 50 on August 8, 2016. In 2018, it was the company with the lowest index weighting, with a 0.73% share.

In 2001, Deutsche Bank merged its mortgage banking business with that of Dresdner Bank and Commerzbank in Eurohypo AG . In 2005, Deutsche Bank sold its stake in the joint company to Commerzbank.


Development of the management structure

On February 1, 2006, the bank broke the tradition of the board spokesman that had existed since the 19th century, who only represented the uniform decisions of the board of directors, and appointed Josef Ackermann as chairman of the board as part of his contract extension . This was justified with an adjustment to general practice.

Organizational structure

The organizational structure of the Deutsche Bank Group corresponds to a double matrix . The operative business is managed in divisions, which are subdivided into corporate divisions and, in a further subdivision, partly into business divisions. In addition, there is central responsibility for the individual regions in which Deutsche Bank is represented. At group level there are three central cross-sectional functions in addition to the chairmanship of the board. All heads of this management organization together form the Group's 'Group Executive Committee'.

Organizational structure of the Deutsche Bank Group (as of 2020)
Group management (cross-sectional functions)
Christian Sewing is
responsible for corporate banking and investment banking
James von Moltke
Commercial Management

Stuart Wilson Lewis , Chief Risk Officer
, is also responsible for Compliance, Anti-Financial Crime, Business Selection and Conflicts Office
Deputy CEO
Karl von Rohr is
responsible for law, governance, private customer banking, asset management and the Germany region
Chief Technology Officer
Bernd Leukert
Data and Innovation
Board member America
Christiana Riley
Chief Operating
Officer Frank Kuhnke
Operational Management; is also responsible for the capital release unit
Board member Asia-Pacific
Werner Steinmüller

Fabrizio Campelli, Chief Human Resources
Officer, Chief Transformation Officer
Group divisions
Corporate and investment bank Private customer bank and asset management North / South America Asia / Pacific

Mark Fedorcik investment bank
Corporate bank
Private customer bank
Manfred Knof
Asset Management / DWS Group
Asoka Wöhrmann
Business areas
Sales & Trading
Ram Nayak
Global Transaction Banking

Stefan Hoops

Postbank Wealth management

Claudio De Sanctis

In addition to the management of its own investments (corporate investment), which is located in the head office, Deutsche Bank is organized around six operational business areas that have very different weights in terms of the number of employees, sales and earnings contribution and internationalization.

Individual business areas

Corporate Banking & Securities key figures in € million
year Income Earnings
(before taxes)
2014 13,742 3,266
2013 13,526 3.158
2012 15,073 2,904
2011 13,899 3,684
2010 17,490 5,094
2009 16,197 3,520
2008 428 −8,476
2007 16,507 4,202
2006 16,574 5,379

The division results published in the annual reports as part of the segment reporting are figures at the level of the corporate divisions according to internal management reporting (all values ​​in million euros).

The Global Markets division is geared towards the needs of large international corporations, governments and international institutional investors. The management is based in London, with major divisions located in New York and Frankfurt. Around 6,000 employees in 39 trading departments and 72 countries work to raise capital, manage risks ( hedge ) and invest. The division deals with the issue and placement (primary market) as well as trading (secondary market) of shares and fixed-income securities (bonds and promissory notes), currencies, commodities, derivatives (especially options, futures and swaps ) and money market instruments (business with credit institutions and central banks ). In accordance with the variety of customer groups and products in this spectrum, the area is further differentiated into business lines and product-related groups. More than 10% of the employees work in the area of ​​analysis and research. The area was strengthened in 2005 with the acquisition of the Turkish brokerage house Bender Securities. In the following year, the remaining 60% shares in the Russian United Financial Group (UFG) were acquired. With MortgageIT Holdings, DB took over a real estate investment trust (REIT) in January 2007 , which is involved in the financing of residential real estate in the USA and which had over 2,000 employees at the time of the takeover. A few months later, the subprime crisis began in the USA , which in 2009 and 2010 also affected the real economy worldwide.

Global Transaction Banking key figures in € m
year Income Earnings
(before taxes)
2014 4.146 1,198
2013 4,069 1.107
2012 4,200 664
2011 3.816 1,029
2010 3.223 905
2009 2,609 795
2008 2,774 1.106
2007 2,585 945
2006 2,228 705

The Corporate Finance division with over 4,000 employees in 40 countries includes the advice-intensive business for financing special events in companies. These include policy analysis, support for larger public tenders, purchase and sale of companies and parts of companies ( M & A M & A), IPOs ( Initial Public Offerings IPO), issuance of corporate bonds and promissory notes, finance major real estate and other major projects in the infrastructure and Transport (ships, aircraft) through, among other things, closed funds and private placements, as well as global lending to companies supported by regional and topic-specific teams.

In the area of Global Transaction Banking are also more active than 4,000 employees. A comprehensive service for the processing of foreign trade transactions (trade finance), the processing of payment transactions ( cash management systems) and the liquidity management of companies and institutional customers, including electronic banking, will be offered . This area also includes looking after securities custody and administration, especially for institutions (pension funds, insurance companies and other banks, including Postbank and Sal. Oppenheim ). The assets managed as a service (assets under custody) amount to over 1.5 trillion euros. The department acts as a paying and registration office for numerous institutions. This area also includes specialties such as the service for trading in carbon dioxide emission rights in over 30 countries or the processing of payment transactions with mobile phones (in cooperation with Luup International ).

Asset & Wealth Management key figures in € m
year Income Earnings
(before taxes)
2014 2,601 1,027
2013 2,441 782
2012 2,282 154
2011 2,315 941
2010 3,907 100
2009 2,688 200
2008 3,264 −525
2007 4,374 913
2006 4.166 894

The area Asset Management , of 2010 assets of more than 800 billion euros, with more than 3,000 employees under management, the German bank is divided into four divisions. The fund business for the general public is operated by DWS and, in the USA, by DWS Scudder. This includes the range of Riester products in Germany.The specialist company RREEF offers alternative investments for private investors, for example participation in large properties or real estate funds. Asset management for institutional investors such as pension funds is carried out by DB Advisors. The Deutsche Insurance Management division is responsible for managing the investment requirements of insurance companies. The stake in Harvest Fund Management, the third largest asset manager in China, and 40% in the Russian UFG Invest can be assigned to this area.

The Private Wealth Management Deutsche Bank is focused on high net worth individual clients advised by individual account manager. In this business area, the bank looks after over 90,000 wealthy private customers in 31 countries with client assets under management of over 150 billion euros. Coordinated investment strategies are to be developed on the basis of individual preferences and risk perceptions, and the existing systems are to be continuously monitored accordingly. This business includes looking after foundations and processing and managing inheritance. The forms of investment range from securities through structured products and real estate to investments in art objects. Deutsche Bank also works as a service provider with independent investment advisors in this area. An important starting point for this division was the takeover of the private bank Grunelius in 1990, which was renamed Deutsche Bank Trust AG and integrated into Deutsche Bank. In the USA, the division is represented by Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas, the remaining activity of Bankers Trust , which was taken over in 1999 . Another step in expanding the business was the takeover of the Swiss private bank Rüd, Blass & Cie , which has been part of Deutsche Bank since 2003. More recent acquisitions in this area were the integration of the British asset management company Tilney and the acquisition of Wilhelm von Finck AG in Munich.

Key figures for private & business clients in € million
year Income Earnings
(before taxes)
2014 9,639 1,335
2013 9,550 1,555
2012 9,540 1,519
2011 10,397 1,902
2010 6.136 890
2009 5,576 458
2008 5,777 945
2007 5,755 1,146
2006 5,149 1,041

The Private & Business Clients division looks after the broad mass business of Deutsche Bank (retail banking). The division operates in eight countries. In addition to Germany, these are primarily Italy, Spain, Poland, Belgium, Portugal and, more recently, India and China. There has been a cooperation with the Hanoi Building Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Habubank) in Vietnam since 2007. It is sold in more than 1,800 branches. There are also more than 3,000 independent financial advisors. The bank also works with financial distributors such as Deutsche Vermögensberatung ( DVAG ) or Banco Posta in Italy. In Germany there is still a sales cooperation with the ADAC . Since acquiring the Berliner Bank with 61 branches and the norisbank with 96 branches, Deutsche Bank has pursued a multi-brand strategy. This division also includes the online broker maxblue and a stake in the Chinese Hua Xia Bank , which in 2010 was 19.99%.

During Rolf-E. Breuer , this area was spun off into Bank 24 and there were considerations to separate the area from the business of the rest of the bank. However, under the chairmanship of Josef Ackermann , this development was reversed and the business segment , which until 2018 was known as Deutsche Bank Privat- und Gewerbekunden Aktiengesellschaft , is again under the uniform brand of Deutsche Bank. Since around 2005, considerable growth efforts have also been made internationally in this area. A strengthening in this area was the acquisition of the majority of the shares in Postbank in November 2010. The number of employees in the division rose to over 50,000 as a result. With well over 20 million customers, both institutes have a combined market share in Germany of around 15% in this segment.

Central functions

Since Deutsche Bank has outsourced a significant part of its purely administrative functions, more than 20,000 employees work in cross-departmental control, processing and administrative functions, the so-called infrastructure areas.

The bank defines the corporate center as the departments that monitor and control the company and thus directly support the management board in its management, especially with regard to its supervisory and risk-related tasks. These include staff departments such as auditing , taxes, legal, risk management , investor relations , communication and social responsibility, corporate development, internal management consultancy and the legally independent DB Research , which is responsible for business- independent market research, economic issues and general basic studies. In addition, there are central tasks from the general infrastructure areas such as controlling , reporting , corporate planning , personnel development and organizational development including information technology.

In the area of Finance (Finance) are more active than 5000 employees at 50 locations. One task is to support and monitor the implementation and accounting of the activities of the business areas. The Credit Risk Management Group has around 3000 employees. The area is organized in a matrix according to business areas and regions. A second core task is to meet the legal requirements for documentation and reporting (e.g. Sarbanes Oxley Act or IFRS ). Finally, the department is responsible for management information, strategic planning and risk control.

The Human Resources department is organized regionally and, in addition to the classic tasks in recruiting and personnel development, including training and further education, deals with corporate culture and change management issues . Instruments of modern personnel management up to and including an Internet academy in Asia are used. To promote young talent, the bank is a corporate partner of the university network CEMS . There are internationalized projects to promote the professional development of women, environmental management and topics in the area of corporate social responsibility . Employees who are socially committed are given special support. The HR department is also responsible for general administration and facility management.

The bank's IT department is known as Group Technology & Operations and, with over 15,000 employees, is the bank's largest organizational unit. He is responsible for the provision of infrastructures, software and support services. In the organization of the area, a distinction is made between technology, which carries out the development of the applications, and operations, in which the ongoing processes and transactions are supported. The separate infrastructure area provides the hardware and software platforms. In addition to data centers and networks, this also includes hosting and messaging. Technology and operations are divisionally structured for the areas of investment banking, asset management and private & corporate banking.

Outsourcing and offshoring

In the early 1990s, the Deutsche Bank founded a subsidiary in India for software development. In 1999 she outsourced the transaction management for the securities business and payment transactions to european transaction bank ag (etb). In the following year, user support and the help desk at Sinius GmbH were made independent . Sinius and etb should use the experience of the bank in the administration of standardized processes and market their know-how to external third parties. In 2003, Deutsche Networks Services was founded in Bangalore .

This approach expresses a new view of the bank's business processes, brought in in particular by Hermann-Josef Lamberti , who joined the bank's board as the former managing director of IBM Germany. Like an industrial company, the bank now regards its business processes as a production process that can be broken down into the elements infrastructure - applications - products - sales. For each element of these production stages, a decision about in- house production or external procurement must be examined as to whether it makes sense to provide the service yourself or whether it is better to buy it in. In addition to the costs, a decisive role in the evaluation is whether the elements of the process chain are strategically important and whether their specialization contributes to the differentiation from the competition, i.e. whether they can generate a comparative competitive advantage . With the aim of concentrating on core competencies , these are customer processes, sales, product development and risk management for the bank. In the area of ​​products, too, there was a concentration on core competencies. As part of this strategy, the insurance business of Deutscher Herold was sold to Zurich , sales financing via GEFA-Leasing GmbH to Société Générale and passive securities custody to State Street . The mortgage banking business was brought into Eurohypo and the shares were sold to Commerzbank .

A first step was spectacular, the outsourcing of European data centers with 750 employees at IBM in 2002. The bank promised by the agreement worth 2.5 billion euros in annual savings of 100 million euros. At the beginning of 2003, the majority of Sinius with 1250 employees was transferred to Siemens . Payment transactions were split off from etb and organized independently as DBPayments . Another large outsourcing project was the transfer of the purchasing function to Accenture in 2004. The data and voice networks were transferred to AT&T in North America and to Deutsche Telekom in Germany . Also in 2004, the bank sold DBPayments to Postbank and etb to the service provider Xchanging . In 2013, Deutsche Bank took over the 51% stake that was sold to the British service provider Xchanging in 2004 and changed the name of this company to DB Investment Services GmbH . In 2006, Siemens received the order to supply and support 19,000 thin clients and over 10,000 PCs. In addition to central IT departments in Eschborn , London and New York, there are service delivering hubs with a total of more than 6,000 employees in Jacksonville , Florida , Birmingham , Great Britain, Mumbai , Bangalore and, since 2008, in Jaipur and the Philippines . The systematic outsourcing abroad ( offshoring ) is carried out to reduce administrative costs . The original software development in India was given to a service provider. In 2004, Deutsche Bank purchased software services in the following countries:

  • Ireland (application modules, product development, adaptation to the European market)
  • USA (product development, adaptation to the US market)
  • India (product development, software development and maintenance)
  • Australia (software development and maintenance)
  • Russia (high-end software engineering).


Founded in 1870 and the first beginnings

First business premises of the bank in Berlin, on the ground floor, Französische Strasse 21 (opened on April 9, 1870)

Since the spring of 1869 Adelbert Delbrück had tried in vain to convince the Mendelssohn bank of his idea of ​​"creating a large bank, mainly for overseas trade, which should make us independent from England". On the other hand, he found favor with the well-traveled banker and politician Ludwig Bamberger , who at the time had to process South American and East Asian credit transactions via London and was therefore familiar with the problem that Delbrück had addressed from his own experience. Bamberger later wrote in his memoirs:

“These experiences gave me the impetus that when, at the end of the sixties, during my first long stay in Berlin, Adelbert Delbrück, the head of the Delbrück, Leo & Co. bank, spoke to me about the company of a Deutsche Bank to be founded with the request, to participate in their formation and organization, I willingly responded with regard to the expansion of the German banking system into transatlantic areas, for which I believed I had some knowledge. "

Over the next few months, Delbrück and Bamberger solicited other entrepreneurs who wanted to participate in the project. The founding committee finally included:

The "father of Deutsche Bank", Adelbert Delbrück

In July 1869, the committee passed a memorandum stating:

“The German flag is now carrying the German name in all parts of the world, a further step would be taken here to honor the German name in more distant regions and finally to conquer Germany in the field of financial mediation - appropriate to those who our fatherland already occupies in the field of civilization, knowledge and art. [...] But this company does not need exclusively German participation to support it, which should adopt the cosmopolitan standpoint. "

This memorandum was attached to the application for a license to become a stock corporation , which had previously only been granted to one bank in Prussia, the A. Schaaffhausen'schen Bankverein . The headquarters of the company should be in Berlin, not least because the founding of Deutsche Bank "sprang from a truly patriotic idea". These "economic [...] and national [...] goals at the same time from the outset" seemed to have been decisive for the granting of the concession. In any case, the Prussian Ministry of Commerce accepted the agreement just twelve days after the founding meeting on January 22, 1870 Preliminary decision issued. The proceedings had been promoted by Minister Itzenplitz and the benevolent Prussian Prime Minister Otto von Bismarck .

Itzenplitz wrote to Bismarck on February 10, 1870:

“If society pursues and achieves its purpose, it can indeed become of great importance for the development of commercial relations. It seems important to us that such a company has its seat in Berlin. "

The founding statute was approved on March 10th by the "highest decree of Sr. Majesty the King of Prussia " of Deutsche Bank; this date is considered the official date of incorporation of the stock corporation. The share capital was five million thalers (after the founding of the empire in 1871: 15 million marks; today's equivalent of around one billion euros). The business purpose was "the operation of banking transactions of all kinds, in particular the promotion and facilitation of trade relations between Germany and the other European countries as well as overseas markets." Of the share capital, 2 million talers were offered to the market at par and almost 150 times oversubscribed by the end of March .

The public initially viewed the start-up very critically. The Frankfurter Wirtschaftszeitung Der Aktionär, for example, questioned the founders' ability to “manage such an institute in accordance with modern requirements [...], even if it were to be true that the reef pirates, the Kaffirs and the Black Footed Indians want to establish commanders. "

Share of Deutsche Bank zu Berlin for more than 600 marks on November 2, 1881

On April 9, 1870, Deutsche Bank commenced business operations in a two-story apartment building at Französische Strasse 21. A year later it moved into more representative rooms with 50 employees in Burgstrasse 29 in the immediate vicinity of the stock exchange . The first directors were Wilhelm Platenius , Georg von Siemens and Hermann Wallich . They had to conduct the business of the "in accordance with the instructions given to them by the Board of Directors". The 24-person board of directors was significantly more powerful than a modern supervisory board and assumed its operational responsibility through a weekly committee of five. The new bank should not compete with the shareholders. Because of these restrictions, Platenius resigned as early as 1870 and his successor only stayed until 1872. In 1873 Max Steinthal joined the board and was primarily responsible for the international foreign exchange business and the issuing business. In 1878 Rudolph von Koch was added, who was primarily responsible for administration, and was spokesman for the board from 1901 to 1909, then on the supervisory board and its spokesman from 1914 to 1923.

As it turned out, Berlin was less suitable for international business than Hamburg or Bremen, for example. Therefore, in July 1871, it was decided to open the first branch in Bremen . Hamburg followed a year later . It also seemed necessary to have a presence in the world trading metropolis of London . This led to the founding of the German Bank of London in 1871 , in which Deutsche Bank held over 40 percent as a limited partner . After the start-up proved to be incapable of acting due to capital restrictions, the bank company opened its own branch in London ( Deutsche Bank (Berlin) London Agency ) in 1873 . In 1879 the bank finally sold the shares in the German Bank of London with a loss of 117,000 marks. The branch, however, worked successfully.

The Asian business, in which Deutsche Bank entered in 1872 with the opening of branches in Shanghai and Yokohama , brought losses. The reason was the devaluation of silver coins in 1873, on which the working capital in Asia was based. The branches had to be closed again in 1875. The bank earned well from the sale of the silver holdings of the German Empire, which it was entrusted with after the conversion from the silver to the gold currency in 1871. From 1872 to 1877 and 1882, Deutsche Bank participated as a limited partner in companies in Paris and New York City .

The German domestic business was based primarily on the large deposits (1910: 558 million marks), a business that the Deutsche Bank operated as the first private bank on Georg von Siemens' initiative in competition with the savings banks from the beginning. Hermann Wallich saw this as the only possibility for permanent profiling in Germany. He warned against “disguised speculations” and refused to “seek the focus of our sphere of activity in the stock exchange.” The bank, which had not yet entered into any significant industrial commitments, profited from the founding crisis in 1873 by acquiring other banks. Various takeovers, including those of the Berliner Bankverein (1876) and the Deutsche Union-Bank (1876), made Deutsche Bank the largest bank in the German Empire in terms of total assets and overtook its major rivals Disconto-Gesellschaft and Dresdner Bank . The takeover of Deutsche Union-Bank gave us the opportunity to move into a magnificent headquarters on Behrensstrasse / Mauerstrasse . The yields developed positively during this period. From 1875 the result rose from 1.4 million marks to 6 million marks in 1880. As early as 1876 a pension and support fund was set up for the "bank officials".

Headquarters of the German-Asian Bank in Shanghai (1895)

In 1886, the establishment of the Deutsche Übersee-Bank was a step towards opening up the South American market, which shows a change in corporate strategy: under Adelbert Delbrück, who had resigned as chairman of the supervisory board in 1889, attempts were made to slowly expand the international market with the To establish their own branches, Hermann Wallich and Georg von Siemens, who no longer represented the traditional private bankers, but instead acted as future-oriented managers , tried to dominate overseas markets through subsidiary institutions. With this new form of foreign engagement, business developed with "regular, satisfactory progress". Accordingly, in 1889 the bank took a stake in the German-Asian Bank , which was founded by a consortium of 13 institutes. This was the first joint project with the Disconto-Gesellschaft , whose managing director Adolph von Hansemann had suggested the start-up. The new Shanghai-based institute, which initially limited itself to trade finance, initially faced stiff (especially British) competition. The German-Asian Bank developed successfully by 1913 and seven branches were opened in China (including Hong Kong and Tsingtao ), two in Japan ( Yokohama and Kobe ), and one each in Singapore and Calcutta . The Deutsch-Asiatische Bank was the predecessor of Deutsche Bank (Asia Pacific) , which is still a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank in Asia today.

Since it was founded in 1870, the bank has been run by a board of directors. However, the board of directors had far-reaching control and decision-making rights. The stock corporation law reform of 1884 ( Stock Corporation Act of July 18, 1884) brought about the division of responsibilities between the executive board and the supervisory board that has been in effect since then. Since then, the board has been headed by a board spokesman, which should clarify the role of primus inter pares . It was customary to make decisions unanimously. The bank implemented the renaming of the board of directors to the supervisory board after long-time chairman Adelbert Delbrück left the company in 1889.

Increasing industrial projects from 1880

Deutsche Bank, old headquarters in Berlin, corner building at Behrenstrasse Kanonierstrasse (later Glinkastrasse ) around 1900; on the left the building coming from the Union Bank

In the first corporate phase of the bank, the expansion of the branch network was only a secondary goal and all important business was carried out via the Berlin headquarters. After the branch openings in Bremen and Hamburg, which were closely connected to the foreign trade business - the two important overseas ports were not initially part of the customs territory of the German Reich - only the Frankfurt Bank Association, which was taken over by Dellbrück in 1886, was incorporated . Further branches were only established at the beginning of the 20th century.

Since Delbrück's departure, Georg von Siemens placed his main focus on international monetary transactions on the one hand (including South America and East Asia, the Ottoman Empire and, to a lesser extent, the German colonies ) and close contact with German industry on the other. Deutsche Bank had been Krupp's credit institution since 1874 , and later also involved in the textile industry . In 1881 Deutsche Bank took part in the takeover of the "Aktien-Gesellschaft für Anilinfabrikation" with an amount of 2.5 million marks. Other major customers were Bayer (since 1886) and BASF . As a major shareholder, Deutsche Bank held shares in AEG (the bank had financed their establishment in 1887) and Siemens & Halske . Furthermore, on the advice of Werner von Siemens, Deutsche Bank was represented on the Supervisory Board of Mannesmannröhren-Werke from 1890 and held Mannesmann shares worth 3 million marks. The institute also financed the transformation of Siemens-Schuckertwerke into a stock corporation.

In 1900 Carl Klönne moved to the board of directors of Deutsche Bank. Siemens had succeeded in winning one of the most prominent experts in corporate finance, particularly in the area of ​​the West German coal and steel industry, for the institute. With him, in addition to a close collaboration with the Essener Credit-Anstalt (1903), a cooperation began with Klönne's ancestral major customers, including the Bochumer Verein , the Schalker Verein , the Harpener Bergbaugesellschaft and the Essener Bergwerkverein König Wilhelm . Thanks to Klönne, the industrial business was placed on a broad basis for the first time. The new member of the Board of Management also had a lively correspondence with August Thyssen .

Meanwhile, overseas business was developing at breakneck speed. In 1893 , the Deutsche Ueberseeische Bank had just under 1.7 billion marks in sales ; in 1899 it was 5.6 billion marks and in 1913 almost 22 billion marks. The Banco Alemán Transatlántico proved to be an important pillar of Deutsche Bank's business. The good development in Argentina , from where 20% of world wheat production came from in 1900 , gave hope for further growth in the booming South American market.

Bahía Blanca (Argentina) branch of the German Overseas Bank (Banco Alemán Transatlántico), 1903

When the Disconto-Gesellschaft founded the bank for Chile and Germany in 1895 with branches in Berlin and Valparaíso , Banco Alemán Transatlántico did not hesitate long to open a branch in Chile . The decentralized economic structure of Chile made it necessary to open further branches, in 1897 in Iquique and Santiago de Chile . Despite the Chilean economic crisis in 1898, the branch network was tightened with the opening of branches in Concepción and Valdivia . Further branches were established in Argentina, up to the First World War in Bahía Blanca , Córdoba , San Miguel de Tucumán , Bell Ville , Mendoza and Rosario . Finally, the expansion into all of Latin America followed: Mexico (1902), Peru and Bolivia (1905), Uruguay (1906) and Brazil (1911, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro ).

In addition, the subsidiary Zentral America Bank supplied the Central American market. The initiator of this unprecedented expansion was Ludwig Roland-Lücke , a board member of Deutsche Bank from 1894 to 1907 and director of Deutsche Überseeische Bank. A joint project by Deutsche Bank and AEG , the Deutsch-Überseeische Elektricitäts-Gesellschaft (founded in 1898) was the largest electricity supply company in Argentina as early as 1909 and made huge profits.

Georg von Siemens also saw great opportunities in the American market. In 1883 he wrote to Kilian von Steiner :

"I believe that in Berlin we also have to get to know American things, after all America is closer to us than Italy , despite the Gotthard ."

He was particularly pleased when he was invited to the pompous opening ceremony of the Northern Pacific Railroad that same year . Blinded by the eloquent president of the railway line, Henry Villard , and the glamorous festivities, Siemens, exuberantly, agreed to participate in the precarious financial situation of the Northern Pacific railway line. During the celebration, the share lost almost half of its value. But Siemens stuck to its decision and in the meantime created the German-American Treuhand-Gesellschaft AG to promote German investments in the USA with a capital of 20 million marks. The Northern Pacific continued to decline until 1895, before a cooperation with the Great Northern Railway resulted with James J. Hill . In 1896 the course had reached its introductory value again. Nevertheless, the Northern Pacific remained a losing business of several million marks. Georg von Siemens, for whom the whole thing was a major setback anyway, provided a large part of his own fortune to cover the financial loss.

On June 27, 1903, an agreement was reached between the Wiener Bankverein , Deutsche Bank and the Romanian government : Deutsche Bank had decided to take over the majority of the Romanian oil company Steaua Romana and Arthur von Gwinner , who had been Wallich's successor since 1894 Head of the bank responsible for the major international financial transactions, demonstrated more negotiating skills than the representatives of John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil Company and the Disconto-Gesellschaft . This was followed by the reorganization of the oil company. One year after the acquisition of Steaua , Deutsche Bank combined all of its oil business activities in a holding company , which also included Deutsche Petroleum-Aktiengesellschaft (DPAG).

Emil Georg von Stauß made his career through his involvement in oil : in 1904 he was still general director of DPAG, in 1914 he took over the management of Steaua and in 1915 became a board member of Deutsche Bank. The rivalry between Disconto-Gesellschaft and Deutsche Bank intensified through the anticipation of the acquisition of Steaua . In addition, Standard Oil always sold its oil where the oil delivery from Deutsche Bank's petroleum holding company was supposed to arrive one day later. So the business was absolutely not profitable and the English shareholders of the holding noticed that they should "rather pour that stuff into the Rhine". In this tricky position, Gwinner felt compelled to negotiate with the Americans, which in 1907 meant that Standard Oil was able to dictate German oil and petroleum prices. Gwinner protested to the Reich government and demanded the establishment of a Reich petroleum monopoly , but this failed until the end because of the veto of the Disconto-Gesellschaft, which had signed a cooperation pact with Standard Oil. Looking back, Arthur von Gwinner wrote:

“After all, Deutsche Bank made a lot of money from the business. But if I had to do it again, I would never touch the petroleum business as a banker again. "

The financing of the Baghdad Railway was one of the largest industrial projects of the first few decades . Initiated by an initiative by the Württembergische Vereinsbank, which was represented on the Deutsche Bank's supervisory board, Deutsche Bank took over the lead in a consortium that received the concession for the route from Constantinople to Ankara from the Ottoman government on October 4, 1888 . Attempts to include English banks in the financing failed. Participation by France, which until then had played a dominant economic role in the Ottoman Empire , was undesirable. The construction management was carried out by the Anatolian Railway Company , which was founded by the consortium for this purpose. On the construction, among others, were Philipp Holzmann (track construction), Krupp (rails), Krauss & Co. , JA Maffei (locomotives) and the Maschinenfabrik Esslingen involved. In public, Deutsche Bank repeatedly emphasized the positive contribution that this project made to the German economy. After the construction of a further branch line, in 1899, pressure from Sultan Abdülhamid II and after a promise by Wilhelm II to the Sultan, was persuaded to sign the extension from Ankara to Baghdad. In a letter from Siemens to his colleagues, von Siemens commented on the agreement, on the basis of which a bond had to be issued for the Ottoman state:

“You will think me crazy if, in spite of our agreements, despite panic in the European squares, despite my conviction since March of baisse stock exchanges , American grain imports, etc., etc., I give the Turks an advance of 200,000 Ltq [Turkish pounds] = Want to give 3,800,000 marks at 7%, while you can buy good German houses at the same discount. The so-called Baghdad Treaty is just a slip, and yet I pay 200,000 Ltq for it. "

After Georg von Siemens left, Arthur von Gwinner was in charge of the project. Financing was only available in 1903 and the route began in Konya , so that the route ran further south than originally desired and fewer mountains had to be overcome. This time the financing took place with the involvement of the French (Banque Imperiale Ottomane), whereby the Germans insisted on the lead. This time, too, participation by British banks could not be achieved. After long attempts, which in the meantime repeatedly failed, it was finally possible in the spring of 1914 to include England and to include the last stretch to Basra on the Persian Gulf in the plans, which was particularly important for the route for economic reasons. However, with the First World War , the German participation in this large company ended abruptly. It was not until 1940 that the last gaps in the route were closed.

Branch network and mergers until 1929

Deutsche Bank headquarters on Mauerstrasse in Berlin (1898)
Bank building of the branch of Deutsche Bank in Chemnitz, built between 1921 and 1926

At the end of the 19th century, there was a change in strategy at Deutsche Bank. So far, the institute has focused on foreign trade finance , industry finance and issuance processing. These transactions could be carried out easily from the Berlin headquarters. Now more contacts should be established in the province. This field was previously left to the shareholders. But a broader base was needed for further growth and so the establishment of an extensive network that was not only based on personal contacts was started.

Initially, there were only branches in Bremen, Hamburg and Frankfurt. The beginning of the expansion was the establishment of another branch in Munich in 1892. In 1901, Deutsche Bank took over the building of the insolvent Leipziger Bank, which was under construction . In the same year branches were founded in Dresden , 1905 in Nuremberg and 1906 in Augsburg .

Much more effective than the arduous route through own branches, however, was the cooperation and interlinking of capital with regional banks. To this end, the institute initially connected with the companies that had been among the subscribers when Deutsche Bank was founded or that had become part of the supervisory board over time through business relationships. A first decisive step was the takeover of 75 percent of the shares in Bergisch-Märkische Bank in Elberfeld and the Schlesisches Bankverein in Breslau through a share swap in 1897 . The participation value shown in the balance sheet rose from 2.99 million marks to 47.29 million marks while the share capital increased from 100 to 150 million marks. This was followed in 1899 by investments in the Hannoversche Bank and the Oberrheinische Bank , Mannheim. The takeover of the majority of shares in the Ruhrorter Bank in 1903 and the exchange of these shares for shares in the Essener Credit-Anstalt in the following year were important. This relationship, which goes back to Carl Klönne, gave rise to significant access to West German industry.

After the Oberrheinische Bank got into difficulties as a result of the economic crisis in 1901, the problem was solved by the institute transferring the shares to the larger and more stable Rheinische Creditbank , Mannheim. Max Steinthal remarked:

“The difficulty with the provincial banks always lies in the debtors . There is always mistrust of banks that offer themselves. "

Nevertheless, the bank kept its strategy. This was followed in 1905 by investments in Emder Bank and Oldenburgische Spar- und Leihbank as well as Niederlausitzer Kredit- und Sparbank , Cottbus, and Privatbank zu Gotha . The regional banks, strengthened by the participation of Deutsche Bank, contributed to the densification of the network by in turn increasingly taking over smaller banks in their sphere of influence. For this purpose, Deutsche Bank made funds available for the capital increase. Another important component was the participation in the Württembergische Vereinsbank in Stuttgart through the takeover of a large block of shares on the occasion of its capital increase in 1906. The Deutsche Bank had been associated with this institute for a long time through, among other things, the railway business in Turkey.

In 1914 another strategic change was made. After large competitors such as Diskonto-Gesellschaft and Dresdner Bank had built up a growing branch network, Deutsche Bank also wanted to have a stronger presence in the regions with its own name. In 1914 it merged with Bergisch-Märkische Bank and in 1917 with Norddeutsche Creditanstalt in Königsberg and the Schlesisches Bankverein. This created a branch bank with 38 new branches and at the same time the largest universal bank in the world. During the First World War , Deutsche Bank was able to accommodate 6.5 billion marks in Reich bonds and in 1917 was one of the co-founders of Universum-Film-Aktiengesellschaft UFA . On behalf of the military administration, it was supposed to use the new medium of film for more effective propaganda.

The policy begun in 1914 was continued in the Weimar Republic . Deutsche Bank continued to expand through mergers, acquisitions, or share swaps with many regional banks, including:

In 1923 the number of branches was 146. This was followed by:

The German defeat in the First World War brought setbacks and burglaries for Deutsche Bank in many ways. The most important foreign branch in London had already been closed at the beginning of the war and was closed after the war. It no longer had access to large international deals that had been a focus of business for the bank. Foreign investments in the railways, oil and electricity industries had to be given up in some cases with losses. The concentration and growth in the domestic market did not compensate for this on an equal basis.

German foreign investment was also prevented by the burden of reparations . These overwhelmed the German economic power, so that the failure to meet the requirements for the occupation of the Ruhr and hyperinflation in 1923 came. Like the other large banks, Deutsche Bank had not suffered much damage. The losers were the small investors who had invested their money in savings accounts and bonds. The winners, however, were industry, which was able to keep its assets in real assets and foreign exchange. Before the war, Deutsche Bank was still the largest German company in terms of capital and reserves, but in a comparison of the Goldmark opening balance sheets on January 1, 1924, it only ranked ninth behind eight industrial companies.

In the period that followed, there were also a number of mergers in industry, which although accompanied the banks - Deutsche Bank often in the lead - but detrimental to the banks' relative importance. Exemplary mergers were those with the United Steelworks including Gelsenberg and IG Farben . Large companies such as Flick and Stinnes had also formed. Their fortunes had arisen from war or inflation gains and these actors had no traditional ties to the banks. These large companies developed their own skills, from raising international capital to issuing foreign bonds and their own banking activities (IG Farben).

In the German banking landscape of 1929, seven major banks were counted, but they were of insufficient importance internationally. The four D-banks were leading .

Key figures for major German banks (in million RM)
Bank Total assets Bills of exchange and
accounts receivable
Accounts payable Equity
December 31, 1925
Deutsche Bank 1,540 1,024 1,240 205
Danatbank 1.012 676 859 100
Dresdner Bank 1,162 713 1.003 101
Disconto Society * 1,115 702 893 147
Commerzbank 694 483 600 64
December 31, 1926
Deutsche Bank 1,853 1,204 1,509 225
Danatbank 1,511 912 1,327 100
Dresdner Bank 1,567 960 1,353 129
Disconto Society * 1,365 830 1,073 199
Commerzbank 902 560 789 64
August 31, 1929 **
Deutsche Bank 2,991 1,920 2,531 240
Danatbank 2,346 1,453 2,102 120
Dresdner Bank 2,222 1,273 1.995 134
Disconto Society * 2,086 1,172 1,778 202
Commerzbank 1,737 1,098 1,452 113
*Incl. North German Bank and Schaffhausen; ** Figures from the "Reichsanzeiger"

In 1929, it finally merged with its big rival, the Disconto-Gesellschaft , to form the Deutsche Bank and Disconto-Gesellschaft , with 289 branches. The most important subsidiaries Norddeutsche Bank from Hamburg , A. Schaaffhausen'sche Bankverein from Cologne , Rheinische Creditbank from Mannheim , Bankhaus Böcking, Karcher & Cie from Kaiserslautern and Süddeutsche Disconto-Gesellschaft from Mannheim were also merged into the new bank . The institution popularly known as “DeDiBank” achieved total assets of RM 5.5 billion and became the dominant bank in Germany. Internationally, it only came a good deal closer to its leading competitors. The front runners were the National City Bank in New York (9 billion RM), Midland (8.5), Lloyds (7.8), Guaranty Trust (New York, 7.1), Barclays (6.5), Westminster ( 6.4) National Provincial (6.3)

One of the most important goals of the merger was to improve the profitability and thus the sustainable competitiveness of the joint institute. The later board member responsible for this, Rummel, noted:

“The bank's workforce was out of date due to the many mergers that followed the inflation. The expenses were stuck, the balance sheet volume shrank, and the conditions were too high for the economy. "

Not least because of the improved cost structures, Deutsche Bank und Diskonto-Gesellschaft was the only major German bank that was able to survive the banking crisis of 1931 without government intervention.

Old Deutsche Bank logo in the mid-1930s and from 1957 to 1974

Great Depression and the National Socialism

The global economic crisis from 1929 to 1932 left deep marks on DeDiBank's balance sheets . After the merger, the joint share capital was RM 285 million with RM 160 million in reserves. The declining business in the crisis and write-downs on loans and securities of 400 million RM in 1930 and 1931 made a capital adjustment necessary. After this the capital was only 144 million RM with reserves of 25.2 million RM. In addition, the bank took out RM 50 million government loan for which it had to deposit shares of RM 72 million. Compared to Dresdner Bank, in which the DANAT Bank, which collapsed on June 17, 1931 , and Commerzbank, DeDiBank got off lightly. The state had to take over more than 90% of the capital of the two competitors. Even during the banking crisis , the bank continued to expand domestically and in 1930 took over the under-capitalized banking houses L. Pfeiffer in Kassel, J. Frank & Cie in Krefeld, Doertenbach & Cie in Stuttgart and E. Ladenburg in Frankfurt / Main their stores integrated into their respective branches.

The development of the crisis, especially the restrictive lending, had seriously damaged the banks' public reputation. Many medium-sized companies had to close during this time due to a lack of liquidity, which increased unemployment. This promoted the criticism of big capital from both the Communist and the National Socialist side and contributed to political radicalization. The departure from the deflationary policy of the von Papen - Schleicher cabinets in 1932 could no longer stop further political developments.

The takeover of power by the Nazis had direct consequences in the management of the bank. Oscar Wassermann , who has been on the board since 1912 and spokesman for the board since 1923, originally planned to retire at the end of 1933 at the age of 65. Due to the aggression of the National Socialists against Jewish capital , however, problems were feared in the bank. On April 6, Hjalmar Schacht addressed the chairman of the supervisory board, Franz Urbig, directly that it was opportune to remove Jewish board members from the board. Urbig took up this point of view and accused Wassermann of weak leadership in the context of the banking crisis. Even before the general meeting in June 1933, Wassermann and his colleague Theodor Frank resigned . In 1933 there were only men on the management board ( Peter Brunswig , Karl Kimmich , Hans Rummel , Ernst Karl Sippell and Fritz Wintermantel ) who came from the bank and followed its tradition. Georg Solmssen (the son of the discount partner Arthur Salomonsohn , the first chairman of the supervisory board of Deutsche Bank with Disconto from 1929), who was already critical of his own position, took over the role of speaker . In a letter to Urbig on April 9, 1933, he wrote:

"Dear Mr. Urbig, The expulsion of the Jews from civil service, which has now been carried out by law, raises the question of what consequences these measures, also taken for granted by the educated part of the people, will have for the private economy. I fear that we are still at the beginning of a development which, according to a well-planned plan, is aimed purposefully at the economic and moral annihilation of all members of the Jewish race living in Germany, completely without distinction. The complete passivity of the classes not belonging to the National Socialist Party, the lack of any sense of solidarity that emerges on the part of those who have hitherto worked shoulder to shoulder with Jewish colleagues in the companies in question, the increasingly clear urge to get out of the To take advantage of posts and the silence of the shame and harm that are indivisibly inflicted on all those who, though innocent, see the basis of their honor and existence destroyed overnight - all of this shows a situation so hopeless that it would be a mistake Not to look things in the face without trying to gloss over things. "

Solmssen also had to give way in 1934 and was replaced as spokesman by Eduard Mosler . Solmssen was a member of the supervisory board until 1938. From the founding generation of the bank, Max Steinthal remained on the supervisory board, but left in 1935 in order to “not cause any difficulties” for the bank. He and his wife Fanny were later expropriated and died penniless in the Eden Hotel Berlin in 1940 . In 2008, the chairman of the board, Josef Ackermann , stopped the scholarships at the Abraham-Geiger-Kolleg in Potsdam , which are reminiscent of this and other tragic biographies, and received criticism from the German Bundestag for not wanting to face the bank's historical responsibility.

The climate also changed at the employee level. There was considerable internal and external pressure on the bank to take action against non-Aryan employees. A National Socialist Company Cell Organization (NSBO) was formed, which moved into the Supervisory Board in 1933 with two representatives. On November 30, 1933, the works cell chairman Franz Hertel organized a “first general works meeting with a march of all members of the SA, SS and the 'Stahlhelm'”. A total of 4,000 employees and most of the board members took part.

The bank tried to prevent extreme excesses of National Socialist activity within the company. Sippell, who was responsible for the personnel department, wrote to the director of the Bochum branch “that as a National Socialist he not only had increased rights but also greater duties” and forbade him to include quotes from Mein Kampf in the Bochum company regulations. Many minor problems resulted from the fact that no members of the NSDAP sat on the bank's board as their contact persons. In order to be able to cope better with this, Karl Ritter von Halt from the Aufhäuser Bank , a medal-awarded front-line fighter from the First World War who organized the 1936 Olympic Games in Garmisch, joined the banking company. Von Halt concentrated the bank's internal Nazi activities on company sports and professional competitions. He maintained contacts with the party in the Heinrich Himmler Circle of Friends , a group of around 40 people from business and the military. In 1938, von Halt was the first party member to become a member of the executive committee. He was primarily loyal to the company. In this way he succeeded in dismissing particularly harsh factory supervisors at several locations, including Hertel in Berlin, who then made a career as Hauptsturmführer of the SS and enriched himself with Aryanizations in the Czech Republic.

In 1933, the bank was able to sell the previously vacant Diskonto-Gesellschaft building on Behrenstrasse to the German Reich and in return received part of the shares deposited as collateral in the amount of 14 million RM. Since there was no need for equity, a further capital reduction was made from 144 to 130 million RM. In 1935 a dividend was paid for the first time again, but at 4% it was low. In 1937 the institute was renamed Deutsche Bank again by resolution of the general meeting .

While Deutsche Bank had in some cases had significant influence on political personalities since the end of the 19th century, this had largely come to a standstill in the first years of the Nazi era. Relations with politics were only perceived through members of the supervisory board. Philipp Reemtsma , who has been on the supervisory board since 1933 and has good connections to Hamburg's economy and above all to Hermann Göring , and Emil Georg von Stauß , member of the board from 1915 to 1932, who also sat on a number of supervisory boards that he already had, were of particular importance here as a member of the Management Board and which were of particular interest to the bank due to their economic commitment. These included Ufa , Lufthansa , BMW and Daimler-Benz and a few more. As a DVP deputy in the Reichstag, Stauß had sought contact with the NSDAP leadership before 1933 and, among other things, made Hitler's first contact with the American ambassador in his house in 1931 . Stauß remained in the Reichstag after 1933 as one of two DVP members and thus had access to a number of Nazi personalities. However, he did not join the NSDAP until his death in 1942.

Deutsche Bank shares from 1940

During the period of National Socialism was the German Bank under the linearization involved in the most costly for the seller transfer of shares in companies of Jewish citizens, as in the Aronwerke electricity AG in Berlin, the Ullstein publishing or salamander , Kornwestheim. The board of directors of Deutsche Bank recommended restraint in the Aryanization. In the interest of maintaining the foreign credit, the bank should not turn out in this context. The participation in the aryanization of more than 363 companies (as of November 1938) (e.g. Bankhaus Mendelssohn , Bondi & Maron ) took place in particular through granted loans, but also through own acquisition and profitable resale, such as with Hubertus AG des Petschek -Group or Adler & Oppenheimer AG. Overall, the brokerage of assets for sale was a profitable commission business and thus helped the National Socialist dictatorship in the implementation of its racist goals. On the other hand, in some cases the Deutsche Bank helped the previous Jewish owners to preserve at least part of their assets, which some of them also expressly appreciated after the war.

During the global economic crisis, Deutsche Bank had taken on an important role in the administration of German foreign debts. In order to avoid further foreign exchange outflows, a standstill agreement (German credit agreement) was concluded with foreign creditors with the participation of the German gold discount bank . Gustaf Schlieper , on the board of DeDiBank responsible for international business, headed the German debt committee, which negotiated annually about the continuation of this agreement. After Schlieper's death in 1937, Hjalmar Schacht informed the bank that he would transfer this task to Hermann J. Abs from the Delbrück Schickler & Co. bank. The bank then tried to get Abs and from January 1938 was able to win him over as a member of the board - like Schlieper responsible for international business. Thus, the supervision of foreign debts remained in-house and when a board member was first appointed since 1933, the choice fell on a non-party member.

Former headquarters of the Creditanstalt-Bankverein

As a result of the occupation of Europe by the National Socialist regime, Deutsche Bank also expanded. She took over u. a. In 1938 first in the Sudetenland and later also in Bohemia and Moravia the Böhmische Union-Bank and in Austria until 1942 the majority of the Creditanstalt-Bankverein in Vienna . In particular, the later business of the Böhmische Union-Bank was characterized by the purchase of Aryanized (i.e. ultimately expropriated) companies in Eastern Europe and the sale, above all, to the Reichswerke Hermann Göring or to the economic empire of the SS . Deutsche Bank also earned at least indirectly from trading the gold of murdered Jews and from financing companies that were active in Auschwitz on the IG Farben Buna works construction site or for the SS there. According to the historian Manfred Pohl , the finds of the Deutsche Bank in Hanover document a “complicity [sc. der DB] on the corpses of Nazi terror. ”According to this, Deutsche Bank“ helped build Auschwitz with loans for construction companies. ”

Planned demolition after the Second World War

After the Second World War, the Americans considered indicting members of the board of directors of Deutsche Bank and the other major banks in Nuremberg as war criminals, but this did not happen because they did not expect a conviction. In view of the entanglement of the three major German banks, including Dresdner Bank and Commerzbank , in the Nazi crimes, the US military government recommended OMGUS to break up this banking network even before the Nuremberg verdicts. In the Eastern Zone (SBZ) all major banks were expropriated, and the head office in East Berlin had to cease operations immediately. In the western zones , the most extensive decentralization took place, particularly at the initiative of the USA. The background to this was, on the one hand, the mistrust of the American administration, shaped by the New Deal , of an agglomeration of power in big business , and, on the other, the involvement of large companies in the crimes of National Socialism.

As a result, Deutsche Bank was active with ten smaller regional banks from April 1, 1948.

Recentralization 1952–1957

Hermann Josef Abs with his successor speakers Karl Klasen (left) and Franz Heinrich Ulrich (right) on April 12, 1967
First high-rise of the Deutsche Bank from 1971 in the Große Gallusstraße in Frankfurt am Main
The steel / glass towers of today's headquarters in Frankfurt

In view of the dispute with the Soviet Union , which from the point of view of the Western powers made it necessary to strengthen the market economy orientation, economic efficiency and independence of the Federal Republic of Germany, the pressure on the former big banks and their old staff decreased from 1948 at the latest. As a result, the old management staff of the big banks gradually moved back into key positions in the German financial world, including Karl Blessing , Otto Schniewind and, despite initial American resistance, Hermann Josef Abs . They increasingly argued that the reunification of the banks was essential to strengthen German economic power. Since the reservations of the Allies could not be completely dispelled, the representatives of the banks argued for tactical reasons only for a partial merger of the successor institutions of the former big banks. In the course of the Korean War and the introduction of the D-Mark , these efforts were successful.

The general bank law called Act on the Regional Scope of banks from 29 March 1952 formed the basis that the German banks were spun off into three successor companies. According to the extraordinary general meeting on September 25, 1952, the ten regional banks of Deutsche Bank became the three successor banks:

When the three institutes were spun off from the old bank, each old shareholder received shares from all of the successor institutes. For each old share with a nominal value of 1,000 Reichsmarks, these were registered shares with a total value of DM 625 at a ratio of 20% NDB, 40% SDB and 40% RWB. To cover the expropriated assets in the former eastern areas, the shareholders also received new shares in the old bank ( remaining quotas ). The Deutsche Bank , based in Berlin, thus continued to exist alongside the above institutes and later alongside Deutsche Bank AG . The old bank managed without naming the legal form , since it was founded before the introduction of the Stock Corporation Act . The legislature changed this situation in 1980, after which the company renamed itself to Aktiengesellschaft Deutsche Bank .

After the Luxembourg Agreement had been concluded in 1952 and the London Debt Agreement in 1953, with Abs in particular, the creditworthiness of Germany rose. The export boom that started at the same time made it necessary to strengthen German export financing. After the Federal Republic of Germany received further sovereignty rights in 1955, further concentration of the banking system was only a matter of time. With a new law on the branch area of ​​credit institutions of December 24, 1956, the legal possibility for the final merger of the successor institutions was created.

As early as September 1955, the sub-institutes concluded a contract on profit and loss compensation with retroactive effect to January 1 , “in order to strengthen the financial strength of each of the three successor institutes by compensating for profits and any losses and to protect their shareholders from economic disadvantages from the division of Deutsche Bank to protect". In the same year the banks appeared for the first time as the Deutsche Bank Group , and in April 1956 the Rheinisch-Westfälische Bank changed its name to Deutsche Bank AG West . At the end of April 1957, the general meetings of the three successor institutes of Deutsche Bank passed the corresponding resolutions, so that on May 2, 1957, retrospectively to January 1, 1957, the (new) Deutsche Bank AG , based in Frankfurt am Main , was founded. In West Berlin , the bank initially operated under the name 'Berliner Diskonto-Bank AG', later under the name of Deutsche Bank Berlin AG . The board spokesman was Hermann Abs, who had been on the board of the old Deutsche Bank since 1938.

Due to lack of assets, the old bank was deleted from the commercial register in 1983 and trading with the remaining quotas was discontinued. The hope of retransferring the old assets expropriated between 1945 and 1949 was not fulfilled after reunification , as this was excluded according to the two-plus-four contract . With the reunification in 1990, the branch network of the State Bank of the GDR was taken over. In 1993 the branch network of Deutsche Bank reached its greatest density. Since then, the number of branches in Germany has been gradually reduced.

Development of a broad public business

Deutsche Bank had already advertised the investment of savings accounts in 1870, the year it was founded. These "deposits" were viewed as cheap refinancing and subsequently a number of "deposit kiosks", as the branches were originally called, were opened. The bank has only been operating the more modern retail business with standard products since the late 1950s. A standardized product in bulk business was first offered on May 2, 1959 with the “Personal Small Loan” (PKK), a loan for everyone up to DM 2,000. This was followed by the “Personal Acquisition Loan” (PAD) in 1962 and the “Personal Mortgage Loan” (PHD) in 1968. A parallel development on the investment side resulted from the fund business of the German Society for Securities Savings (DWS) founded in 1956 .

Deutsche Bank in Krakow

The inclusion of “consumer banking” in traditional business meant new forms of advertising, account management and the expansion of the bank across the board. When Deutsche Bank entered the mass market, it had 250,000 private customers and 364 local branches. In 1999 Herbert Walter announced the plan to increase the number of bank customers from 7 to 10 million by 2003, and one year later the bank sought a merger with Dresdner Bank, which did not materialize.

In 2008, the number of customers in private banking rose to just under 10 million. After the integration of the East German market, the number of branches and branches had its highest level in Germany at over 2000. As a result, it fell significantly and in 2008 was just under 1,000. This development was strongly promoted by the introduction of EDP. In 1955, the "punch card technology" was used for the first time in the Wuppertal branch. The growth in the consumer business was favored by the increasing number of companies that no longer paid wages and salaries in cash, but by transferring them to salary accounts.

Through acquisitions, Deutsche Bank has also expanded its broad branch business in some European markets, for example in Italy, Spain and Portugal, Poland and Belgium. In addition to modern retail business, the services offered have been expanded more and more over the years. They range from building society savings to insurance, credit cards and electronic banking .

In the middle and end of the 1990s, the bank's general business with private customers was spun off. This was transformed via Bank 24 AG into the successor Deutsche Bank 24 , which today operates under the name DB Privat- und Firmenkundenbank AG. The area had its own logo, the customers of this area were assigned new bank codes, which ended with -24 instead of the previous -10.

Investment banking, corporate customers and wealthy private customers ( private banking ) and very wealthy customers ( private wealth management ) remained in the AG. The previous private bank Grunelius, which from then on traded as Deutsche Bank TrustAG, was also brought in.

The external separation of bulk business was revised in 2005, but the assignment of customers via bank code was retained.

In 2006, Deutsche Bank expanded its private customer business in Germany by acquiring Berliner Bank in June 2006 and norisbank in August 2006 . In the same year, it began offering banking services in the Turkish language nationwide under the “Bankamız” label. From April 2017 it should be possible to pay with an account at Deutsche Bank also with the smartphone , which the bank wants to use in mobile payment . On 21 December 2018, the German bank started with the broadcast of a television commercials to Be advertising of Apple Pay .

Networking with industry

Capital links

Deutsche Bank's business was tied to large industrial companies from the start. Before joining the bank, Georg von Siemens had already worked for his cousin Werner von Siemens and had set up a telegraph line to Tehran. In addition to foreign trade finance, the issue of shares and bonds was part of the core business not only for the state and municipal purposes, but above all for industrial companies. Deutsche Bank was the house bank of the later industrial giants Bayer and BASF from an early age and accompanied their growth. One of the entrepreneurial highlights of the early days was the handling of large-scale transactions in international railway construction. The close contacts with Philipp Holzmann arose during this time, and the rise of Mannesmann would have failed without the commitment and perseverance of both Siemens cousins. Georg von Siemens also built up close relationships with Emil Rathenau early on - to the annoyance of his cousin - and financed the development of AEG and got involved in power plant construction. Deutsche Bank issued the first industrial bond from Krupp as well as the first bond from Siemens.

Outstanding individual events in the industrial business of the 1920s were the founding of Ufa, the merger of Daimler and Benz, and the founding of Lufthansa through the merger of Aero Lloyd and Junkers . These industrial policy projects were promoted by Georg von Stauß. Other important businesses were the liquidation of Stinnes and the mergers in the steel industry to form the United Steel Works and in the chemical industry to form IG Farben .

Deutsche Bank was less represented in the mining and steel industries. The number one in this business was the most important competitor, Disconto-Gesellschaft . The merger of 1929 increased industrial dominance. The institute got involved with Stollwerck in 1923 when the family was unable to raise the capital required for expansion. (The box was sold to the entrepreneur Hans Imhoff in 1972. ) In the course of the economic crisis after 1929, Deutsche Bank helped the crisis-ridden companies Didier-Werke , Karstadt and Girmes in the early 1930s . When Krauss and Maffei merged , the bank injected capital (sold to the then Flick subsidiary Buderus in 1955 ) and Lanz's receivables were converted into equity capital .

The expansion of the industrial portfolio continued after the Second World War. German tax law had a considerable influence on the size of the participations . If a shareholder owned a "box" of at least 25%, the dividends received would remain tax-free ( box privilege ). Alternative investments had to bring in roughly double that in order to be equally attractive. Accordingly, it made sense to sell off smaller holdings and add to other packages. Another way of using the nesting privilege was with ballast companies. The metal company was a case in point. In order to prevent the competitor Dresdner Bank from dominating, Deutsche Bank founded the Allgemeine Verwaltungsgesellschaft für Industriebeteiligungen with Siemens and Allianz and in this way held a 28% stake. Calculated, the bank owned 10.9%. The opposite pole was formed by the Society for Metal Values, led by the Dresdner Bank.

As early as the 1960s, there had been criticism of the banks' large investment portfolios and the banking power associated with them. The bank had always emphasized that the investments did not arise from the motive of power. Rather, there are very different business processes and profit considerations behind it. From the beginning of the 1970s, Deutsche Bank began to systematically sell a large number of investments that were of lesser importance from an investment perspective:

  • 1973 46.5% Stollwerck, 25.1% Augsburger Kammgarn spinning mill
  • 1974 25% Hoffmann's starch factories , over 25% Maschinenfabrik Moenus
  • 1975 31.6% of the Manz shoe factory
  • 1976 almost 50% Bavarian electricity works
  • 1978 11.6% Continental , 10.7% Phoenix (remaining 10%)
  • 1983 48% Pittler
  • 1986/88 26.9% Hapag-Lloyd (remaining ownership 12.5%)
  • 1989 36.5% Bergmann-Elektrizitätswerke, 25% Hutschenreuther, 15.5% Didier-Werke

Further investments with a strategic value or where a sale would result in high tax payments due to a low book value remain in the portfolio.

Industrial holdings of Deutsche Bank on June 30, 1989
(in millions of DM)
Of which%
Course on
June 30, 1989
Market value
in million DM
Direct investments
Daimler-Benz AG 2,117.90 28.24 694.50 8,307.54
Deutsche Beteiligungs AG 30.00 46.30 173.00 48.06
Philipp Holzmann AG 112.50 30.00 985.00 664.88
Karstadt AG 360.00 25.00 588.00 1,004.40
Süddeutsche Zucker AG 120.58 23.05 461.50 256.59
Holdings through intermediate companies
Metallgesellschaft AG 320.00 10.90 462.00 322.29
Hoard 250.00 18.80 271.00 254.74
VEW 1,000.00 6.30 199.00 250.74
Hutschenreuther 21.33 37.50 483.00 77.27
Didier-Werke AG 92.40 15.50 273.50 78.34

In addition to these holdings named in the annual report, the bank owned other industrial holdings with a share of over 10% in 1989, but these were not expressly mentioned. These include Phoenix, Linde , Krauss-Maffei and, in particular, Allianz and Munich Re . From the mid-1990s, the bank began to systematically reduce its holdings.

Industrial and financial investments Deutsche Bank (1995 to 2008; DM converted into euros)
Companies year 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Aachener and Münchener
Beteiligungs AG
Proportion of % 5.0 5.0
Market value (million) 130 138
alliance Proportion of % 10.0 10.0 10.0 9.3 7.0 4.2 4.0 3.2 2.5 2.5 2.4 2.2 1.7
Market value (million) 3,262 3,253 5,342 7.102 5,675 3,897 2,806 753 965 935 1,234 1,494 1,154
Continental Proportion of % 10.1 10.2 8.4 8.4 7.9 7.8 8.2
Market value (million) 100 137 199 228 197 175 162
Daimler-BenzDaimlerChrysler Proportion of % 24.4 22.6 21.8 12.0 11.9 12.1 12.1 11.8 11.8 10.4 4.4 4.4 4.4 2.7
Market value (million) 4,634 6.252 7,236 10,089 9.219 5,312 5,861 3,403 4,445 3,706 1,930 2,103 2,967 692
Hapag-Lloyd Proportion of % 10.0 10.0 10.0
Market value (million) 134 103 130
Heidelberg cement Proportion of % 10.1 10.1 10.1 10.1 8.7 9.2 8.9 8.5
Market value (million) 197 270 308 322 404 267 287 189
Philipp Holzmann Proportion of % 25.8 25.8 25.0 20.9 15.1 19.6
Market value (million) 304 212 260 159 30th 33
Karstadt Proportion of % 10.0 10.0
Market value (million) 253 220
Klöckner-Humboldt-Deutz, Deutz Proportion of % 45.0 44.7 38.2 25.8 26.8 25.4 ?? ?? 10.5 4.5
Market value (million) 119 100 155 123 100 43 ?? ?? 31 12
Linden tree Proportion of % 10.1 10.1 10.1 10.1 10.0 10.1 10.1 10.0 10.0 10.0 10.0 7.8 5.2 2.4
Market value (million) 368 404 472 437 655 613 552 401 509 544 785 983 789 250
Metal company Proportion of % 16.6 16.5 13.0 13.0 9.3 9.3 9.1
Market value (million) 361 356 293 245 345 212 166
Munich Re Proportion of % 10.0 10.0 10.0 10.0 9.6 9.7 7.2
Market value (million) 1,294 1,560 2,856 3,637 4,342 6,521 3,889
Nuremberg investment company Proportion of % 25.9 26.0 26.0 26.3 26.4 26.4
Market value (million) 178 182 289 327 300 304
Südzucker Proportion of % 12.8 11.0 10.1 10.1 10.1 11.4 11.3 ?? 4.8 4.8
Market value (million) 227 215 226 202 192 199 313 ?? 126 128
VEW Proportion of % 6.3 6.3 6.3 6.3 6.2
Market value (million) 338 321 372 324 318
Others Market value (million) 171 118 171 158 218 267 ?? ?? 303 305 195 394 170 130
total Market value
12,073 13,842 18,310 23,350 21,955 17,933 14,036 4,746 6,379 5,630 4.144 4,974 5,080 1,072

The year in which the listed investments are sold is the first year in which no value is shown in the table above. The market values ​​shown in the table under “Other” include a number of other well-known industrial addresses whose shares Deutsche Bank has gradually sold. These include BHS tabletop AG (after 2001), Fuchs Petrolub AG (1999), Hutschenreuther (1998), Leifheit (1998), LEONI (after 2000), Motor-Columbus (after 2000), Phoenix (after 2000), Salamander (1997 ), Verseidag (1998), Vossloh (after 2000), WMF (after 2000). In spring 2009, along with the remaining shares in Daimler-Benz and Linde, the last of the holdings on this list were also sold.

Daimler-Benz and Flick

The connection between Deutsche Bank and Daimler-Benz goes back to the 1920s. The capacities of automobile production were too great in the period after the First World War. At the same time, American models pushed onto the market after rationalization in manufacturing had progressed considerably further in the USA. Through the Rheinische Kreditbank at Benz and the Württembergische Vereinsbank at Daimler, Deutsche Bank had a high level of credit exposure at both companies. In charge of the bank's board of directors, Stauß was also the chairman of the supervisory board in both companies and after the merger he operated in 1926. The original idea was to form a German automobile trust. These attempts failed at both Opel and BMW , although Stauß was also chairman of the supervisory board here. Other possible merger candidates had gone up in Auto Union .

After great difficulties in the economic crisis, the car manufacturer prospered during the Nazi era through armaments contracts, not least because Stauß used the NSDAP leadership for this on the one hand, and on the other hand prevailed in the corresponding financing against internal resistance.

In the early 1950s, Friedrich Flick , who had to sell his holdings in Harpener Bergbau-AG and Essener Steinkohle AG after the war, covertly tried to acquire a majority in Daimler-Benz. Having become suspicious of the share price development, Deutsche Bank bought a large number of shares. Because Flick could not achieve his goal, he negotiated with Deutsche Bank in 1954 to realize at least one box. To this end, he committed himself in writing to Paragraph to forego a majority and the chairmanship of the supervisory board and to involve Deutsche Bank in the event of a sale. At the same time, the Quandt family had also bought a significant share, which had risen to 12.75% in 1956. In order to use the box privilege, Flick brought part of his now almost 40% into a specially formed ballast company. In this way, Daimler-Benz had three large shareholders with more than 25% each and Deutsche Bank chaired the supervisory board for many years.

With the help of Dresdner Bank, the Quandts finally sold their parcel of 14% in 1974 to the sheikdom of Kuwait . For his part, Flick threatened Deutsche Bank in 1975 to sell his 39% package to Iran . The bank was able to persuade him to hold a stake of 10%, around 4% were sold directly in the market and for the remaining shares of 25.23%, Mercedes-Automobil Holding AG was formed as an intermediary company , in which several intermediary companies were involved . In this way, the bank was able to place the package worth 1.8 billion DM in pieces to a group of institutional investors. The construction including the tax-free transfer of the capital gain at Flick according to § 6b EStG had been expressly approved by the Ministry of Finance (State Secretary Rainer Offergeld ). The construction was dissolved in 1993 when the Mercedes Holding was merged with Daimler-Benz AG.

Ten years later, in 1985, Friedrich Karl Flick switched on the bank to dissolve his industrial holding company and place it on the market. This also included the remaining package of Daimler-Benz shares.

The network of supervisory boards

In addition to equity investments, the personal network of relationships that results from mandates on supervisory boards and advisory boards is important for Deutsche Bank (as for other banks). Kurt Fiebig (1908–1988), a well-known professional opponent at general meetings in Germany, once stated:

"At every general meeting you meet the same faces, who you know will help each other to office and dignity."

Hermann Josef Abs had over thirty such positions at the top, Franz Heinrich Ulrich (1910–1987) held 19 mandates in foreign companies in 1965; Karl Klasen held up to 23 mandates at the same time. (see also Rhenish capitalism - rather the banks (less the stock exchanges) determined the financial situation) Representatives of Deutsche Bank held the chairmanship of the supervisory board more often than others.

In order to limit the influence of individuals, the corporate law reform of 1965 limited the number of external mandates to ten and group companies were not allowed to add more than five such posts. In addition, it was no longer permitted that board members were allowed to sit on the supervisory board of a company that in turn had a supervisory board in its own company (cross-checking). This change was not without problems for Deutsche Bank. The supervisory boards were not given up, but distributed more broadly and directors (especially from the branch management) included. It was or is difficult for the external party to assess whether the new legal regulation was successful. In addition to around 150 seats on important advisory boards such as Bosch, Deutsche Bank held around 400 seats on the supervisory boards of German stock corporations in 1989, around 160 more than in 1976. The crossover problem arose in particular on the bank's supervisory board itself. Here, too, the bank did not have its own Mandates, but formed the "advisory group of the bank as a whole" with 15 to 20 prominent managers for board members of the companies in which she herself sat on the supervisory board. This group also had the advantage that it was possible to speak more openly than in the supervisory board, where the employees were represented.

Many of Deutsche Bank's fundamental business relationships were based on personal relationships. Examples include Philipp Fürchtegott Reemtsma , whose will execution the bank took over from 1959, and Peter Klöckner . Both sat on the board of directors before the Second World War. Klöckner's son-in-law Günther Henle stuck to this bond. In the case of Helmut Horten and Heinz Nixdorf , the bank helped set up their business as well as liquidate it. Of particular importance for the bank was Hans Lutz Merkle , whose close ties to the bank were strongly promoted by Abs and who was one of the few external people to chair the bank's supervisory board. This connection was continued seamlessly by Marcus Bierich . Günter Vogelsang opened many relationships , who came to Krupp at the insistence of the bank and successfully restructured the company. The former AEG CFO Johannes Semler (* 1923), who represented the interests of Deutsche Bank at Zeiss , as a board member of Mercedes-Automobil-Holding and as a member of the supervisory board of Daimler-Benz and Axel Springer AG , had a similar function .


Deutsche Bank has been active internationally since it was founded in 1870, e. B. in the context of foreign trade finance for customers. This means or does not imply that it operates an independent business with national customers at international locations.

Before the First World War - the British Empire was the leading world power at the time , London was the largest city in the world at the time and something like the “world capital of economy” - the branch in London was of great importance. After the outbreak of war, the branch was forcibly closed and wound up; as a result, Deutsche Bank only had one representative office in the important financial center of London . It was not until 1976 that she opened her first foreign branch again (again in London).

The bank had a similar experience in its overseas business: Deutsche Überseeische Bank (DUB), a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank, lost its base in Latin America twice as a result of the world wars and had to restart each time. In Asia, before the First World War, the German-Asian Bank (DAB) operated with its own branches for a consortium of seven banks, of which Deutsche Bank played the leading role. DAB also lost its business after the First World War and was of no major importance between the two world wars.

Employee development at the Deutsche Bank Group

The increasing internationalization of Deutsche Bank after the Second World War can be divided into three overlapping and complementary phases:

  • From the 1960s to the mid-1970s, the bank relied primarily on cooperation with correspondent banks. When you were there, you worked with representative offices.
  • A systematic expansion of a branch network and the establishment of subsidiaries abroad began in the mid-1970s.
  • From the mid-1980s onwards, there were international acquisitions and thus significant market shares in markets or business areas.

Worldwide network of partner banks

In 1963, Hermann J. Abs said on the 10th Bankers Day:

“Proven partnerships are a solid foundation for growing cooperation in all areas of banking. For a supranational expansion of the branch networks of the banks, no economic needs can be identified, nor would it make sense in the private sector. "

According to this point of view, Deutsche Bank participated in a “European Advisory Committee” (EBIC) of friendly banks. Members were the Société Générale Belgique , ABN and the Midland Bank . Over time, Banca Commerciale Italiana , Creditanstalt-Bankverein and the French Société Générale were added. In 1967, Banque BEC (Banque Europeénne de Credit à Moyen Term) was founded in Brussels, an institute for transnational medium-term credit transactions.

The next step was a joint syndicate bank in the USA. The Belgian American Banking Corporation and the Belgian American Trust Company, in which the EBIC partners participated, were used. In the name of the companies, only “Belgian” has been replaced by “European”. The partners set up their own departments in these institutes to look after their respective customers. The European American Banks were also a vehicle for the tax-privileged " offshore business " in the Bahamas and Bermuda (" tax havens "). In 1972 branches were opened in Los Angeles and San Francisco. The entry into the private banking business succeeded in 1974 with the takeover of Franklin National Bank, which had become insolvent due to risky foreign exchange transactions.

For the merchant business (international financing and issues as well as consulting), the European Banking Company (EBC) was founded in London in 1973, which in 1982 also incorporated the BEC.

In Asia, the EBIC made use of structures from Deutsche Bank. After the merger of the regional institutes in Germany, the German-Asian Bank, Hamburg, in which it was the largest shareholder, had started to set up foreign branches again. After starting in Hong Kong (1958), Karachi (1962), Kuala Lumpur (1968) and Jakarta (1969) followed. After taking over the shares from the previous partner banks (the Singapore branch remained with Dresdner Bank), the Euras-Bank (European-Asian Bank) was formed in 1972. The branch network was expanded considerably as a result. There were similar activities in the Arab world, Canada and Australia.

International branch network

The EBIC organization had built up a broad international presence; nevertheless some of its parent institutions (including Deutsche Bank) operated their own activities.

Deutsche Bank in Oviedo

The first step was the establishment of a subsidiary in Luxembourg (1970), the main task of which was the syndication of international loans, which means that it was mainly refinanced through other credit institutions. The conversion of the representative office in London in 1973 was significant in terms of banking. London was the first direct foreign branch of Deutsche Bank after the Second World War. Between 1976 and 1978, DUB was integrated into the bank. Tokyo became the second foreign branch in this way. Buenos Aires , São Paulo and Asunción were added (the latter sold in 1989). The clearest sign of a departure from the EBIC concept is the establishment of the branch in New York in 1978. In Singapore , Deutsche Bank and Deutsche Bank (Asia Credit) started operating in parallel with Euras-Bank from 1978. The same thing happened with Deutsche Bank (Canada) in Toronto from 1981 and Deutsche Bank Australia in 1986. In Switzerland, Deutsche Bank (Suisse) SA in Geneva became active in asset management.

Against the background of these activities, the EBIC relationship was consequently dissolved by 1988. Deutsche Bank gave up its shares in the American, Australian and London activities; it took over the institutes in Asia (Euras Bank) and Canada and integrated them into its own organization. When assessing the history of the bank, it is disputed whether the EBIC concept was a mistake or a necessary impetus for consistent internationalization.

Acquisitions abroad

In 1986 board member Jürgen Krumnow (Controlling) said:

"One day Europe should become what the Federal Republic of Germany is today: namely our home market."

The Deutsche Bank Building in New York (2005), which had to be demolished because of the damage caused by the collapse of the World Trade Center on September 11th .

Since the European markets were already fully occupied, the only economical way to acquire market shares in the private customer business in other countries was to acquire existing banks. A first step on the way to this newly formulated strategy was the takeover of Banca d'America e d'Italia in Milan from Bank of America in 1986. This was the first time that Deutsche Bank had a large presence in a European country. This acquisition was complemented in 1993 by the acquisition of the majority in Banca Popolare di Lecco , a regional bank .

In the Netherlands in 1988 the bank H. Albert Bary, Amsterdam , with which there was a traditional connection, was taken over by ABN Amro in the course of the splitting up of EBIC. Also in 1988 50 percent of the Australian investment bank Bain & Co. was acquired. In 1988 the stake in MDM Sociedade Investimento, an investment bank in Lisbon, was increased . In the same year the securities broker McLean McCarthy in Canada was acquired. The presence in Austria was established through the takeover of the private bank Antoni, Hacker & Co.

After gradually purchasing shares, Deutsche Bank was able to acquire the majority in Banco Comercial Transátlántico in 1989, despite the central bank's negative attitude. Similar to Italy, an addition was made through the acquisition of the Banco de Madrid in 1993. In the USA, activities had grown so much through internal growth that in 1989 it was possible to move into a separate building near Wall Street , which was renamed the Deutsche Bank Building has been.

In 1989 the balance sheet total was around 202 billion US dollars and in the same year the British investment bank Morgan Grenfell in London was taken over. The 1990s were marked by the establishment of banks and takeovers in Eastern and Southern Europe. In 1998, the US investment bank Bankers Trust in New York City was taken over for 16.5 billion DM . With over 12,000 employees in the USA, this gives the bank an essential pillar in international investment banking. However, this merger had little impact on European markets. In the course of time, Bankers Trust was fully integrated into a joint organization and also adopted the name 'Deutsche Bank' in the USA.

Role in the 2007 financial crisis and indictment in the US

Before the financial crisis from 2007, Deutsche Bank succeeded in selling part of the endangered subprime bonds to IKB Deutsche Industriebank, which was later rescued , and thus significantly reduced the damage for itself. In March 2009, Deutsche Bank benefited from state aid from the US government to the ailing insurer AIG , from which the latter was able to settle $ 11.8 billion (EUR 9.1 billion) in liabilities to Deutsche Bank. The state rescue of the bank holding company Hypo Real Estate from insolvency made it possible to secure a further 1.8 billion liabilities to Deutsche Bank according to the 2008 assessment.

In its final report published in April 2011, a committee of inquiry of the US Senate on the financial crisis assessed Deutsche Bank, alongside the rating agencies and Goldman Sachs, as being primarily responsible for the crisis. Chairman Carl Levin stated that "the institutions have deliberately deceived customers and the public and were supported by respectful regulators and rating agencies". The results of the investigation were handed over to the investigating authorities.

On May 4, 2011, a lawsuit began in New York against Deutsche Bank and its subsidiary MortgageIT , which the bank acquired in 2007 shortly before the financial crisis. The charge was fraudulently obtaining government guarantees. The case was dropped a year later for a settlement payment of $ 202 million.

On September 16, 2016, it was announced that the US Department of Justice was demanding a fine of $ 14 billion from Deutsche Bank for its mortgage operations. This sum exceeds the capabilities of Deutsche Bank. Both Deutsche Bank and the German government denied a request for help from the bank's board of directors in this regard.

On January 17, 2017, the US Department of Justice confirmed a settlement announced by Deutsche Bank in December 2016 for a total of 7.2 billion dollars (around 6.7 billion euros). "This decision holds Deutsche Bank accountable for illegal conduct and irresponsible lending practices that have caused serious and lasting damage to investors and the US population," said US Attorney General Loretta Lynch . According to the settlement, Deutsche Bank will pay $ 3.1 billion in fines and $ 4.1 billion in reparation for harmed homeowners, borrowers and communities. Deutsche Bank was accused of having "misled investors with windy mortgage deals and thus contributed to the collapse of the US housing market in 2008 and thus to the last major financial crisis".

Other major events since 2000

From 2000

In April 2000, a planned merger between Deutsche Bank and Dresdner Bank failed at short notice .

Deutsche Bank shares have also been traded on the New York Stock Exchange since 2001 . In the same year, Deutsche Bank merged its mortgage banking business with that of Dresdner Bank and Commerzbank in Eurohypo AG . In 2005, Deutsche Bank sold its stake in the joint company to Commerzbank.

With a market share of around 25 percent, DWS Investments, which is part of the corporate group, is the largest German fund group. The DWS Group is also one of the leading mutual fund companies across Europe with fund assets of more than 150 billion euros, and DWS is now also playing with partners in the global players in the Islamic banking sector. Here, Deutsche Bank maintains a “global think tank ” for the Islamic finance industry with “Dar al Istithmar” in London .

From 2007

In July 2007, Deutsche Bank sold its 13.2 percent stake in Deutsche Beteiligungs AG . In the same month she acquired Abbey Life from the fifth largest British bank Lloyds TSB . The price for the insurance company was 1.44 billion euros. A year later, in July 2008, the bank bought a major part of ABN Amro's Dutch medium-sized business for 709 million euros. Two months later, in September 2008, the takeover of Postbank was announced, with which the bank anticipated an offer from the major Spanish bank Santander . The Postbank purchase is valued at more than EUR 8 billion. The positive vote of the Post Supervisory Board was announced on September 12. On September 22nd, Deutsche Bank carried out a capital increase of 2.2 billion euros to finance the purchase of Postbank shares. On October 7, it was announced that no further capital measures were planned. The final structure of the business was determined in early January 2009. Deutsche Bank then increased its previous stake in Postbank from 2.1% in a first step by 22.9%, so that it received a blocking minority of 25% plus one share. With a mandatory exchangeable bond, the share could be increased further after three years. In addition, there were options between Post and Deutsche Bank for a further 12.1%, which could be exercised after 36 to 48 months. Together, Deutsche Bank and Postbank had 24 million private and business customers in Germany.


On October 28, 2009, the complete takeover of Sal. Oppenheim by Deutsche Bank was announced. After 220 years, the Sal. Oppenheim family ownership ended. In 2008 the company was still considered the largest independent private banking group in Europe. The purchase price was one billion euros. Sal. Oppenheim got into difficulties due to the financial crisis and its participation in Arcandor .


On September 12, 2010, Deutsche Bank made a voluntary, public takeover offer to the shareholders of Deutsche Postbank. In the course of this offer, Deutsche Bank was offered around 22% of the Postbank shares. Deutsche Bank now holds the majority of Postbank shares and was thus able to consolidate Postbank as of December 3, 2010.

In December 2010, the US tax authorities and Deutsche Bank settled a year-long investigation into aiding and abetting tax evasion. Deutsche Bank paid $ 550 million, in return the US authorities waived prosecution. The US Department of Justice and the Federal Prosecutor's Office said the US Treasury suffered billions of dollars in damage as a result of the transactions.


In July 2011, the bank passed the stress test of the European Banking Authority with an equity ratio of 8.8 percent. In this Europe-wide stress test, the participating banks were tested for their stability in the event of an unexpected economic downturn.

On July 25, 2011, Deutsche Bank announced that the previous head of the investment banking department, Anshu Jain, and the head of Deutsche Bank Germany, Jürgen Fitschen, will jointly take over the chairmanship of the Board of Management from May 2012 and will thus succeed Josef Ackermann. Ackermann had originally moved to the top of the supervisory board and was supposed to replace Clemens Börsig there; Instead, Paul Achleitner , previously a board member of Allianz , took over the chairmanship of the supervisory body in 2012.

2012 to 2016

Ernst Uhrlau (undated; 1990s?)

Since February 1, 2012, the former head of the Federal Intelligence Service Ernst Uhrlau has been advising Deutsche Bank on global security issues.

On March 15, 2012, it became known that the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) had rejected the Chief Risk Officer proposed by Anshu Jain, William Broeksmit . Broeksmit was supposed to be elected to this post by the board of directors on March 16. Instead, the Scot Stuart Lewis became the new chief risk officer.

In December 2013, the US Federal Reserve sent Deutsche Bank a deficiency report regarding the financial reporting of its American business; this letter went public months later.

In the wake of the Libor scandal , the Directorate-General for Competition imposed a EUR 725 million fine on Deutsche Bank after investigations.

After Trump's election victory in 2016, Deutsche Bank hurried to redeem a $ 600 million loan it had granted to Russian state VTB .

2017 to 2019

See: Involvement in Money Laundering and Tax Evasion

In 2017, the bank made a loss of 0.7 billion euros, caused by a one-off tax expense of 1.4 billion euros due to the American tax reform. The bonus payments, mainly for investment bankers, amounted to around 1 billion euros during the period. In November 2017, Deutsche Bank was listed in the Paradise Papers publications .

From 2017, the relationship with US President Donald Trump was viewed critically by politicians from the US Parliament's finance committee. Deutsche Bank loans to Donald Trump are said to have been guaranteed by the Russian government. At Deutsche Bank, two loans with around $ 340 million from Donald Trump are said to be open and $ 950 million has flowed into a project in which he holds 30 percent. Deutsche Bank did not want to comment on these allegations when asked.

In April 2019, talks about a merger between Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank that had started in the previous month were broken off. Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz had approved it. The CEO justified the decision with implementation risks, restructuring costs and capital requirements. Unions and employee representatives rejected a merger of the banks because they feared the loss of thousands of jobs.

On April 29, 2019, US President Donald Trump and members of his family as well as The Trump Organization filed an injunction against Deutsche Bank and the American financial institution Capital One to have their financial data disclosed to committees of the US House of Representatives that had passed Subpoena to prevent.

On July 5, 2019, the financial institution announced that CEO Christian Sewing will from now on take over the duties of Garth Ritchie, who will leave the committee on July 31, 2019. Sewing takes over the management of the corporate and investment bank. There were also media reports about an imminent restructuring of the bank.

On July 7, 2019, after a board meeting, the company announced that it would undertake a massive restructuring of the company. The CEO Christian Sewing said: "Today we presented the most comprehensive transformation of Deutsche Bank in decades." The measures include, among other things, the establishment of a bad bank , the reduction of 18,000 full-time positions and the discontinuation of global equity trading.

Deutsche Bank began to implement the decision just one day later on Monday, July 8th: In the London office, an unspecified number of employees was dismissed with immediate effect and asked to vacate their private belongings by 11 a.m. as they were allowed to enter would be denied electronically from this point in time. Further immediate layoffs were also ordered in Hong Kong and Sydney.

From 2020

After the bad results since 2015, the causes and a. Due to major restructuring and related realignments including severance payments to be paid, the cessation of share trading and the sale of entire lines of business and the ongoing low interest rates in the entire banking sector, efforts are being made to achieve “profit before taxes” from 2020 onwards. The restructuring will be continued for this as well, and further global job cuts from around 18,000 to 74,000 employees are considered unavoidable. The expenses for the further reorganization are planned at 17 billion euros. Despite the negative results, the members of the bank's board of directors receive bonus payments, but they waive the individual performance -based remuneration because they want to make their contribution to the restructuring.

The acquisition of the US investment firm Capital Group with a 3.1 percent stake in Deutsche Bank, which became known in early February 2020, was perceived in the financial markets as a positive sign that Deutsche Bank is making progress with its restructuring; In the course of the day, Deutsche Bank shares were able to gain 10 percent on February 7, 2020 and approach the psychologically important mark of € 10.00.

Public perception, criticism and controversy

The bank and politics

From the beginning, the business activities of Deutsche Bank were connected with macroeconomic tasks. In addition to the founding purpose of foreign trade finance and strengthening the German export economy, the issue of municipal bonds and government bonds soon appeared . Even though it was partly received critically within the bank, Georg von Siemens was a member of the German Reichstag on several occasions, initially as a representative of the National Liberals and later of the Liberals . Arthur von Gwinner (1856–1931) became a member of the Herrenhaus , the first chamber of the Prussian state parliament , in 1910 . With Karl Helfferich (1872–1924), who had represented the interests of the bank at the Baghdad Railway, one of the bank's directors even assumed government responsibility. In the imperial era, the big banks were considered to be state-supporting and institutions that contributed to increasing prosperity.

This perspective changed dramatically in the Weimar Republic . Although there was still close cooperation with the government and the Reichsbank , there was no longer any direct link between board activities and political office. The image was significantly damaged during the inflationary period , because the banks secured their margins by increasing interest rates, while borrowers and savers suffered particularly. Even greater damage was caused by the Great Depression , when the collapse of a number of banks and the high losses were linked to speculation and excessive risk. In May / June 1931 a banking crisis began in several European countries; after that the gold currency system fell apart (it had caused deflation problems). In the summer of 1931 almost all large commercial banks were in fact nationalized in the German banking crisis .

Finally, the reputation sank deeply in the time of National Socialism . There banks were seen as a product of "Jewish capital". They were only given limited public influence. They had a certain position through their distribution function in the issue of government bonds, which became more and more important with increasing arms production . The foreign exchange situation in the German Reich was always tense. The bank accompanied the expansion of the Third Reich into Eastern and Southeastern Europe ( annexation of Austria in March 1938, destruction of the rest of the Czech Republic in March 1939).

The influence in industry and the state-supporting role of the big banks led to a negative assessment by the US military government (OMGUS) in the American occupation zone after the end of the war and to a break-up similar to that in the chemical industry (see IG Farben ) and the steel industry after the War happened. It was not least the political contacts of Hermann Josef Abs that made it possible to systematically pursue the path of recentralization. Abs was a member of the “Economic Committee of the Federal Chancellor” founded by Adenauer in 1949 . In a similar way, board members of Deutsche Bank provided advice to later federal governments. Karl Klasen , a member of the SPD, became President of the Deutsche Bundesbank during the Brandt era . Alfred Herrhausen had good access to Helmut Kohl . In the financial crisis from 2007 it was most recently Josef Ackermann who helped Angela Merkel in his role as President of the Association of German Banks as "advisor" and Axel Wieandt as the top manager for the management of the troubled Hypo Real Estate posted.

Party donations

Deutsche Bank was one of the largest donors among legal entities in Germany; From 2000 to 2009 it donated more than 4.4 million euros to the parties in the Bundestag (with the exception of the PDS and the Left Party ). About 60 percent of this donation went to the CDU ; z. B. 400,000 euros in the 2005 election campaign. About 25% went to the FDP . Small shares went to the SPD , Greens and CSU .

In 2010 the bank introduced a guideline that from now on prohibits all party donations; the aim is to adapt to international customs.

Power of the banks

The power of the banks repeatedly triggers critical discussions. As the largest banking institute in Germany, Deutsche Bank is particularly in focus . The power of the banks is primarily based on three aspects: the industrial holdings, the mandates in supervisory and advisory boards and the voting rights in custody accounts .

While most of the bank's representatives have often tried to downplay their position of power , Alfred Herrhausen (Deutsche Bank) admitted in 1988:

“I've never been one of those who denied that we had power. To the chagrin of my colleagues at the time, I already expressed this frankly as a young man on the board. Of course we have power. It is not a question of whether we have power, but of how we deal with it, whether we use it responsibly or not. We have power because we have to have it, and that has nothing to do with our ambition to be powerful, but has to do with the fundamental decision we made here in the Federal Republic after the Second World War. We have chosen a social system in which there are plural power potentials, which, however, have to be kept in an unstable balance. And we believe that in this plural network of power, Deutsche Bank also represents a power potential that we want. "

The importance of banking power came to light in the placement of the mendacity (see above) as well as in a number of merger processes. The bank was on the side of tire manufacturer Continental AG , where it was chairman of the supervisory board when the Italian company Pirelli attempted a hostile takeover. Possible conflicts of interest of the bank became just as evident with the takeover of Hoesch AG by Krupp as with the later merger of Krupp with Thyssen . In both cases, the bank was significantly represented on both sides on the Supervisory Board. A more recent example is the takeover of Schering AG by Bayer AG , whose M&A advisor was Deutsche Bank. At the same time, Hermann-Josef Lamberti was represented on the Schering Supervisory Board and for this reason resigned his mandate at short notice.

Due to the increasing internationalization of the banking world, in the last decades of the 20th century the principle of the house bank in the larger industrial companies continued to decline. American investment banks such as Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs were increasingly involved in the competition, both in the M&A business and in bonds and promissory notes . The finance departments of the major customers increasingly acquired know-how. About Siemens once Hermann J. Abs said: "They would have more reason to get the balance sheets of some banks where they lay down their balances, view, than vice versa, the banks base would, the Siemens footprint to look at." The car companies established their own banks for sales financing, insurance companies offered investors funds of their own. The principle of the core banks arose, with which the large companies continued to work closely, but always created competition in the award of important contracts, so that the banks' margins became significantly narrower.

Because the importance of industrial holdings for one's own business continued to decline, there was an increased sell-off of these holdings. Consulting-intensive businesses such as M&A, asset management or the sale of investments ( private equity , closed-end funds) brought significantly higher income and were therefore promoted. The image of the opaque and difficult to control financial giants was increasingly emerging. The concentrated investments of Deutsche Bank in investment banking (Morgan Grenfell, Bankers Trust, Scudder Investments and others) made a significant contribution to this. The public criticism shifted from banking power to an excessively high profit orientation based on the principle of shareholder value .

Controversial statements

As the largest German bank, Deutsche Bank plays an important role in public awareness. Almost always when several banks are involved in a transaction, Deutsche Bank is involved and in Germany is entrusted with the lead much more often than its competitors. Accordingly, the spokesmen for the board were often in the public eye. Public appearances are not without problems for them. Well-known examples are:

  • Hilmar Kopper's designation of 50 million DM open tradesman's bills as “ peanuts ” in connection with the Schneider property scandal
  • the hint from Rolf-E. Breuer in a television interview that it was well known that the media entrepreneur Leo Kirch was no longer receiving any loans, which resulted in a series of lawsuits with Kirch.

There were public discussions about Ackermann's efforts to bring the profitability of Deutsche Bank to what it claims to be internationally customary. The announcement of further staff cuts was denounced as a scandal in 2005, although the same press conference announced an extraordinarily positive development in earnings. This even led to a boycott call by the then Hessian SPD chairman Andrea Ypsilanti and other SPD politicians, but the call was viewed critically in public. The economist Rudolf Hickel criticized turbo-capitalism . The return target of 25% announced by Ackermann was particularly attacked. The chairman of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), Bishop Wolfgang Huber , spoke of the idolatry of money, but asked for an apology for naming Ackermann individually. The actor and PDS candidate Peter Sodann said in an interview that he wanted to arrest Ackermann as a real commissioner. Misunderstandings also played a role here: while Ackermann meant a (more likely) return on equity before taxes, laypeople considered this figure to be something like the return on sales of an industrial company, which is usually well below five percent. Ackermann defended the key figure and said that such a return could be achieved by Deutsche Bank with its business model without excessive risks.

In May 2009 it became known that various people, including the Lamberti board member and a critical shareholder, had been spied on by a detective agency in previous years. The bank fired two leading employees and hired a law firm to investigate the situation. Because of the labor court trials with the dismissed employees, this scandal keeps cropping up in the press.

For the one-time bonus tax levied in Great Britain in 2009, Deutsche Bank boss Ackermann had suggested that the special tax should not be borne by the British bank managers alone, but that the costs should be passed on to all employees of the group worldwide. This met with rejection from the German bank employees.


In 1870, the Deutsche Bank logo was very similar to the imperial eagle . Competitors complained that the bank gave too much the impression of a state institution. In the mid-1930s, a simple letter logo "intertwined DB in an oval" was introduced. This was also used again at the merger in 1957. The corporate design introduced in 1974 with a blue “slash in a square” logo, which was developed by the graphic designer Anton Stankowski , corresponds to the more modern understanding of marketing, which is based on a clear symbolic language . The diagonal symbolizes growth; the frame conveys “security and a controlled environment” at the same time. The characteristic logo with lettering, the color blue and the Univers font have been used consistently since 1975.

In 1998 Deutsche Bank succeeded in acquiring its initials "DB" as the Internet domain "" from The Internet Company . It is one of the seven banks in the world and the only bank in Germany that has a .com domain that is only two letters long .

public relation

Deutsche Bank works on a variety of levels to improve its public image. A collection of contemporary art was built up as early as the 1970s. A defining event of that time was Friedrich Wilhelm Christians' meeting with the art collector George Costakis in the Soviet Union. Over 90% of the works in the Deutsche Bank Collection are presented to the public in the company's offices, in exhibitions and on loan. The collaboration with the Städel Museum in Frankfurt is particularly close , where around 600 works have been on permanent loan since 2008. The bank has been the sole sponsor of the Berliner Philharmoniker since 1990 . In the field of sport, the bank is a national sponsor of the Deutsche Sporthilfe Foundation , a founding member of the National Anti-Doping Agency ( NADA ) and has been a sponsor of the Special Olympics since 2005 . Basketball ( Deutsche Bank Skyliners ), horse riding (Grand Dressage Prize of Aachen) and golf (DB Ladies' Swiss Open) are promoted as individual sports .

The Department of Culture and Society was headed from 1995 to 2000 by Brigitte Seebacher-Brandt , Willy Brandt's widow . Brigitte Seebacher-Brandt was appointed to the board of trustees of the Alfred Herrhausen Society during his lifetime . To support charitable causes, the bank has built up a number of foundations over the years, which provide funds for a variety of projects in regional focuses of their activities (Germany, New York, London, Central America, Asia). By far the largest institution in this area is the Deutsche Bank Foundation with endowment capital of 135.5 million euros.

The expenditures for social engagement are estimated at 82 million euros for the year 2008; that is about 0.3% of the total income before valuation influences. The funded projects include the SED State Research Association and the Eastern Europe Research Center . The bank paid particular attention to microfinance , for which it has launched several funds to refinance the relevant institutions since 1997. Overall, the funds are divided between social (37%), education (31%), art (24%) and corporate volunteering (8%).

The processing of its own history goes back to 1961, when Deutsche Bank founded its “Historical Archive”. In 1988 it was agreed with historian Gerald D. Feldman to publish a basic account of the bank's history for the 125th anniversary in 1995. Historians were given free access to the archive until 1945. Lothar Gall , Harold James and Hans E. Büschgen were also prominent researchers . The book (Die Deutsche Bank: 1870–1995) was named the best business book of 1995 by the Financial Times and consultancy Booz Allen Hamilton , and it sparked a number of similar studies for other companies. In 1996 the bank founded the “Historical Institute”, which was initially headed by Manfred Pohl and then by Angelika Raab-Rebenstich. The task of this institute is to systematically process the history of the bank. This has resulted in a number of fundamental publications, as well as publications relating to the Bank's local history. Due to the discussion about the time of National Socialism, an independent commission of historians was appointed in 1997, again under the direction of Feldman, which subsequently worked out several detailed studies. The bank was able to use these studies and its openness to its own history when critical voices were raised in connection with the acquisition of Bankers Trust. The historical reflection is supplemented by the "Historical Society of Deutsche Bank", a registered association with over 1700 members that deals with the history of banking in general.

In 2000, the bank was one of the founding members of the foundation initiative of the German economy "Remembrance, Responsibility, Future" .

Corporate responsibility

Deutsche Bank claims to be committed to its social responsibility as a global company ( Corporate Social Responsibility ). It regards the United Nations Global Compact ( Global Compact ) as the basis of its values ​​and has signed the corresponding declaration of commitment as one of the founding members. In its mission statement for sustainability it relates to the " UNEP -Declaration by Financial Institutions on the Environment and Sustainable Development". To prove the success of its activities, the bank has its activities assessed externally within the framework of sustainability indices and ratings, and achieved top ranks in the process.

Critics often only pay lip service to the signing of such declarations.

In addition, Deutsche Bank is a main sponsor of the business plan competition for social initiatives startsocial .

In April 2016, Deutsche Bank stopped measures that would have created 250 new jobs at its software development site in Cary, North Carolina ( United States ). CEO Cryan justified this with the incompatibility of Deutsche Bank's commitment to inclusion with the “Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act” (“HB2”). This law, passed by the North Carolina General Assembly , was viewed as extremely discriminatory against members of the LGBT community in the United States . Previously, numerous music artists and companies such as Bank of America had cut their involvement in the US state in protest.

Offshore Leaks and Panama Papers

Since April 4, 2013, a consortium of media from 46 countries (offshore leaks) has published reports on tax havens . The leak , which affects around 130,000 people and all major banks, has been evaluated in the form of investigative journalism since mid-2012; The volume of data is around 150 times larger than the publication of cables from US embassies by WikiLeaks in 2010, the largest leak to date. According to research by Norddeutscher Rundfunk and Süddeutsche Zeitung, Deutsche Bank has set up more than 300 companies and trusts in several tax havens, mostly in the British Virgin Islands , through its Singapore branch .

In many cases she appointed her subsidiary Regula Limited as director. According to critics, it aided the obfuscation of money flows and thus facilitated possible crime. Deutsche Bank did not want to disclose on whose behalf it did this and what the business purpose was or is. Money laundering , tax evasion and money from corruption could be concealed with offshore constructs . In a brochure, Deutsche Bank bluntly offers its customers the "establishment, management and administration" of trusts, companies and foundations in various countries. To do this, you work closely with the clients' legal or tax advisors. She advertises her offshore services on the website. There it is said that the tax haven Mauritius offers "a tax-neutral environment". The number of employees alleging Group at the local office increased in recent years from five to more than 200th

On November 29, 2018, the Frankfurt public prosecutor's office searched the premises of Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt and other locations on suspicion of money laundering. After an evaluation of the database of the offshore leaks and the Panama Papers available at the Federal Criminal Police Office , the suspicion arose that Deutsche Bank was helping customers to set up offshore companies in tax havens. Money from criminal offenses is said to have been transferred to Deutsche Bank accounts without the bank filing any suspected money laundering reports. Deutsche Bank was also mentioned in connection with the money laundering scandal involving Danske Bank . Its Estonian branch is said to have fed tens of billions of euros of dubious origin from Russia into the global financial system. Deutsche Bank had processed international transfers for the branch.

Luxembourg leaks

In November 2014, through the so-called Luxembourg leaks, tax avoidance models of Deutsche Bank with real estate transactions in Luxembourg became known. According to the Tagesschau, the bank moves profits from Germany, Poland, Italy and France via Luxembourg and other countries to tax havens. The aim is to avoid taxes and to disguise the path of money in tax havens. Confidential documents created by PwC were made public in the original.

Manipulation of the reference interest rates LIBOR and EURIBOR

In 2012 it became known that numerous banks had routinely manipulated the important reference interest rates LIBOR and EURIBOR in their favor for years - especially in the years 2005–2009 - in order to achieve trading profits. There are indications that Deutsche Bank earned 500 million euros from this in 2008 alone. In 2013, the EU Commission imposed fines totaling 1.7 billion euros. Deutsche Bank accounted for the largest part, EUR 725 million.

In April 2015, the relevant regulatory authorities in the USA and Great Britain imposed a fine of $ 2.5 billion on Deutsche Bank as well as an obligation to fire responsible employees and subject themselves to stricter surveillance in the USA.

Deutsche Bank employees also received fines personally: in 2018, the foreign exchange trader Christian Bittar was sentenced by a London court to a prison term of five years and four months. In addition, the judgment meant an asset recovery of 2.5 million pounds and the payment of court costs of 800,000 euros. Bittar's accomplice Philippe Moryoussef , a former Barclays bank employee, was sentenced to eight years.

Risky Mortgages

CDO business

The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco sued Deutsche Bank Securities in the San Francisco Superior Court on March 15, 2010, asking Deutsche Bank and other banks for damages and cancellation of deals in which they were seeking $ 5.4 billion shares Bought 33 CDO packages, the value of which depended on the US housing market.

Swap deals

According to business journalist Michael Lewis , Deutsche Bank sold billions in CDS insurance against the real estate crash to hedge funds before the big crash that started in mid-2007 . On the other side of these businesses that made hedge funds rich, there were, not least, overwhelmed investors in Düsseldorf, such as IKB Deutsche Industriebank , which in 2007 found itself in a crisis that threatened its existence .

With high-risk betting transactions, in which Deutsche Bank and other companies, including JPMorgan Chase & Co. , earned high commissions and were based on false interest rate forecasts, cities, including Hagen and Pforzheim , Würzburg , Neuss and Milan , municipalities and European regions, lost including Tuscany , millions of euros that weighed heavily on the affected communities.


In the worldwide researched television report broadcast in May 2012, the company is being accused of fraud in the securitization of risky mortgages - the "good business" of the German bank of the WDR series die story . In foreclosures by Deutsche Bank subsidiary Deutsche Bank National Trust , 1.4 million families in the United States were evicted from their homes with the help of, among other things, forged documents and signatures (robo-signing) researched by CBS . Deutsche Bank had earned billions of euros from these mortgage deals for which Anshu Jain was responsible. The former head of the Westdeutsche Landesbank , Ludwig Poullain , accuses the Deutsche Bank of having abused its power to conduct business that evade economic obligations.

Food Speculation and Land Grabbing

Criticism is also often found in campaigns by non-governmental organizations such as Oxfam and Foodwatch and others. a. stated that the Deutsche Bank participates profitably with its commodity and agricultural funds in food speculation and land grabbing .

The UN Special Representative for the Right to Adequate Nutrition , Olivier de Schutter, also blamed the bank for rising food prices in July 2012 and believes that the extreme price fluctuations on the food market have little to do with supply and demand. In contrast to other large banks such as DekaBank and Commerzbank , Deutsche Bank is sticking to its business practice.

Palm oil

In June 2012, environmentalists from the Rettet den Regenwald association criticized the fact that Deutsche Bank was supporting the Malay palm oil trading company FELDA, which is cutting down the rainforest, with its IPO and thus indirectly promoting extensive clearing of valuable forest areas.

Excessive bonus payments compared to dividends

In 2012, the bank's 98,219 employees received salaries totaling EUR 13.5 billion. The reported net profit fell in 2012 by 85 percent to 665 million euros. The total amount of bonuses distributed fell by only 11 percent (to 3.2 billion euros). Klaus Nieding, Vice President of the German Protection Association for Securities Holdings (DSW), criticized the numerical relationships: "The amount of bonuses for employees - especially in investment banking - and the amount of dividends are clearly disproportionate."

From 2010 to 2012 the bank's bonus pool shrank by a quarter; the market value fell by 10 percent during this time. Total personnel expenses including bonuses increased 6 percent; this can be attributed to the higher fixed salaries and to the bonuses promised for earlier years but paid out later. In terms of total income, Deutsche Bank's personnel costs are 40 percent.

A dividend of € 0.75 was paid from 2012 to 2015. In 2017, Deutsche Bank paid a dividend of € 0.19.

Cancellation of the free current account

In November 2012, Deutsche Bank canceled the free current account for particularly good customers, which was considered a status symbol for the wealthy. According to the bank's announcement, all accounts will be “harmonized” and “special conditions that were granted in individual cases in the past will no longer be offered”.

Support of a mining company that displaces the rainforest

The IPO of the mining company Coal India , whose activity is threatening the habitat of the tiger , was supported by the bank.

Suspected foreign exchange manipulation

In 2014, the New York Public Prosecutor's Office investigated numerous financial institutions to investigate suspected foreign exchange and exchange rate manipulation.

Black Planet Award

In 2013, the CEOs Anshu Jain and Jürgen Fitschen, as well as the major shareholders of Deutsche Bank, received the Black Planet Award from the Ethics & Economics Foundation ( ethecon ).

Dakota Access Pipeline

The bank co-financed the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline , which is planned close to an Indian reservation and is seen by its residents as a threat to their livelihoods.

Climate-damaging investments

Deutsche Bank is one of the world's largest investors in coal and other climate-damaging activities. For this she was repeatedly criticized by urgewald .

However, it has been withdrawing from the coal sector since summer 2016.

Involvement in money laundering and tax evasion

After the 2017 Russian money laundering in the amount from 22 to 80 billion US dollars were uncovered in which the German bank as a correspondent bank of 2010 to 2014 Russian rubles worth of double-digit billion dollar amount from Moscow mainly to London and New York transferred , The British financial market regulator FCA and the American financial regulator DFS fined Deutsche Bank $ 630 million. In the same year, Deutsche Bank was listed in the Paradise Papers publications .

In November 2018, Der Spiegel reported that Deutsche Bank was involved in money laundering activities from Azerbaijan , in addition to its involvement in Russian money laundering, which became known in 2017 . In 2007, Deutsche Bank was commissioned by Danske Bank to carry out transactions valued at $ 150 billion. In 2015, Deutsche Bank broke off its business relationship with Danske Bank.

In January 2019 it became known that Bank Warburg had filed a lawsuit against Deutsche Bank with the Frankfurt am Main regional court in December 2018 . The Süddeutsche Zeitung quotes from the complaint that it has failed to withhold due taxes and pay them to the tax authorities for years in large share transactions (“ Cum Ex ”). Deutsche Bank rejects all allegations.

As a result of these incidents, the German financial market regulator BaFin appointed a special commissioner authorized to issue instructions to Deutsche Bank on February 15, 2019 to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.

Doing business with the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein

After a settlement with the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) in July 2020 because of the business relationship with the now deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and the Danske Bank , which was involved in a money laundering scandal , the Deutsche Bank has to pay a fine of 150 million dollars (133 million euros ) numbers. According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the Epstein case, which has referred underage women to paying customers for decades, "casts an extremely bad light on the bank's internal controls and their lack of knowledge about their customers". The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) accuses the bank of major violations of rules in connection with its business relationships with Epstein and speaks of hundreds of transactions which the bank should have reviewed in light of the known allegations against Epstein. The bank made payments to Russian models and other women with Eastern European names that were apparently used to pay school fees, hotel costs and rents.


Deutsche Bank bankers often played an important role in German politics and economic history. See also Category: Person (Deutsche Bank AG) and List of Board Members of Deutsche Bank AG

Chairman of the Board of Management and the Supervisory Board

Board spokesperson or chairperson 1
No. Surname Board
Speaker /
1. Georg von Siemens 1870-1900 1870-1900
2. Rudolf von Koch 1878-1909 1901-1909
3. Arthur von Gwinner 1894-1919 1910-1919
4th Paul Mankiewitz 1898-1923 1919-1923
5. Oscar Aquarius 1912-1933 1923-1933
6th Georg Solmssen 1929-1934 1933
7th Eduard Mosler 1929-1939 1934-1939
8th. Karl Kimmich 1933-1942 1940-1942
9. Oswald Rösler 1933-1945 1943-1945
10. Hermann Josef Paragraph 1938-1945, 1957-1967 1957-1967
11. Karl Klasen 1952-1969 1967-1969
12. Franz Heinrich Ulrich 1957-1976 1967-1976
13. Friedrich Wilhelm Christians 1965-1988 1976-1988
14th Wilfried Guth 1968-1985 1976-1985
15th Alfred Herrhausen 1970-1989 1985-1989
16. Hilmar Kopper 1977-1997 1989-1997
17th Rolf-E. Breuer 1985-2002 1997-2002
18th Josef Ackermann 1996-2012 2002–2012
19th Anshu Jain 2009-2015 2012-2015
20th Jürgen Fitschen 2001-2002, 2009-2016 2012-2016
21st John Cryan 2015-2018 2015-2018
22nd Christian Sewing since 2015 since 2018
Chairman of the Supervisory Board 2
No. Surname Supervisory Board
1. Victor Karl Magnus 1870-1871
2. Adelbert Delbrück 1871-1889
3. Adolph vom Rath 1889-1907
4th Wilhelm Herz 1907-1914
5. Rudolf von Koch 1914-1923
6th Max Steinthal 1923-1932
7th Arthur Solomon's son 1929-1930
8th. Franz Urbig 1930-1942
9. Oscar Schlitter 1933-1939
10. Karl Kimmich 1942-1945
11. Oswald Rösler 1957-1960
12. Erich Bechtolf 1960-1967
13. Hermann Josef Paragraph 1967-1976
14th Franz Heinrich Ulrich 1976-1984
15th Hans Lutz Merkle 1984-1985
16. Wilfried Guth 1985-1990
17th Friedrich Wilhelm Christians 1990-1997
18th Hilmar Kopper 1997-2002
19th Rolf-E. Breuer 2002-2006
20th Clemens Börsig 2006–2012
21st Paul Achleitner since 2012

1 Chairman of the Management Board since February 1, 2006
2 Chairman of the Board of Directors until 1889 (Despite the reform of the stock corporation law of 1884, the supervisory body was only renamed the Supervisory Board after Delbrück left in 1889)

Honorary Chairwoman

The following people were honorary chairmen of boards of Deutsche Bank:

See also


  • Dieter Brötel: Hermann Wallich. From Parisian banks to the Asian business of Deutsche Bank (1850–1889) , in: Ulrich van der Heyden, Joachim Zeller (Ed.): '… Power and share in world domination' - Berlin and German colonialism . Unrast-Verlag, Münster 2005, ISBN 3-89771-024-2
  • Eberhard Czichon: Deutsche Bank - Power - Politics: Fascism, War and the Federal Republic . PapyRossa-Verlag, Cologne 2001
  • Hans-Otto Eglau : Like God in Frankfurt: Deutsche Bank and German industry . Heyne, Munich 1993, ISBN 3-453-06515-8 .
  • Lothar Gall, Gerald D. Feldman, Harold James, Carl-Ludwig Holtfrerich, Hans E. Büschgen: The Deutsche Bank: 1870–1995 . CH Beck, Munich 1995, ISBN 3-406-38945-7 ( review in the time )
  • Harold James: Deutsche Bank and the "Aryanization" . CH Beck, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-406-47192-7 ( review (PDF; 81 kB) at H-Soz-u-Kult as well as in Die Zeit )
  • Harold James: Deutsche Bank in the Third Reich . Translated from the English. by Karin Schambach and Karl Heinz Siber. CH Beck, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-406-50955-X . Substantially expanded version by the author of the section of the same name from the work Gall, et al. a .: Deutsche Bank . see above.
  • Historical Society of Deutsche Bank: Deutsche Bank - A History in Pictures . Piper, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-492-04580-3
  • Christopher Kobrak: Deutsche Bank and the USA - Business and Politics from 1870 to the Present . CH Beck, Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-406-57068-1
  • Ingo Köhler: The "Aryanization" of private banks in the Third Reich: repression, elimination and the question of reparations . CH Beck, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-406-53200-4 .
  • Dirk Laabs: Bad Bank. The rise and fall of Deutsche Bank. Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Munich 2018, ISBN 978-3-421-04667-3 . (With notes, literature, glossary and person index)
  • Bernhard Leitner; Manfred Pohl, Gilbert Becker: Taunusanlage 12 . Busche, Dortmund 1985
  • Office of Military Government for Germany ( OMGUS) : Investigations against the DEUTSCHE BANK 1946/1947 . Verlag Franz Greno, Nördlingen 1985, ISBN 3-921568-66-8 .
  • Werner Plumpe , Alexander Nützenadel , Catherine R. Schenk: Deutsche Bank. The global house bank 1870-2020. Propylaen, Berlin 2020, ISBN 978-3-549-10016-5 (with annotations, list of sources and references, registers of persons, institutions and places)
  • Manfred Pohl, Angelika Raab-Rebentisch: Calendarium Deutsche Bank 1870–2002 . Piper, Munich 2002, ISBN 3-492-22583-7
  • Fritz Seidenzahl: 100 years of Deutsche Bank, 1870–1970 . Frankfurt 1970

Web links

Commons : Deutsche Bank  - collection of images, videos and audio files
 Wikinews: Deutsche Bank  - in the news

Individual evidence

  1. a b Master data of the credit institute at the Deutsche Bundesbank
  2. End of the downswing ?: Deutsche Bank looking for growth. In: Telebörse , September 10, 2017, accessed on September 17, 2017 . ,
    the actual start of business took place on April 9, 1870
  3. Annual Report 2019. Deutsche Bank , accessed May 20, 2020 .
  4. Christian Sewing becomes the new CEO of Deutsche Bank - Newsroom .
  5. Annual Report 2018 . December 31, 2018.
  6. Public funds - market shares of providers in Germany 2017 - statistics .
  7. Lecture ( memento of May 15, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) by the responsible board member Rainer Neske on January 17, 2011, accessed on April 7, 2011 (PDF).
  8. ^ Policy Measures to Address Systemically Important Financial Institutions. In: Financial Stability Board (FSB) of November 4, 2011 (PDF; 102 kB).
  9. 2019 list of global systemically important banks (G-SIBs). (PDF; 176 kB) Secretariat to the Financial Stability Board Bank for International Settlements, November 20, 2019, accessed on December 18, 2019 .
  10. a b a global think tank for the Islamic finance industry ( Memento from March 15, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  11. Shareholder structure. Major shareholders according to Section 33, Paragraph 1 WpHG - as of January 31, 2020. In: January 31, 2020, accessed February 9, 2020 .
  12. Deutsche Bank: Descent from the upper class. In: Retrieved August 3, 2016 .
  13. STOXX Limited: Factsheet (PDF; 32 kB). As of September 2018. Accessed on September 6, 2018.
  14. ^ Board of Management - Deutsche Bank .
  16. Press release ( Memento from April 10, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  17. Homepage Deutsche Bank  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (accessed on September 1, 2009)@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  18. Press release of March 12, 2009 ( Memento of July 17, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  19. Grunelius - Nucleus of Deutsche Bank ( Memento from September 3, 2012 in the web archive ), Financial Times Deutschland, accessed on August 21, 2009
  20. Portal of the online broker maxblue
  21. Reuters: "Deutsche Bank is investing a good 600 million euros in Hua Xia Bank" , May 6, 2010
  22. Postbank AG shareholder structure. Retrieved December 27, 2010 .
  23. ^ Hermann-Josef Lamberti : Sourcing decisions along the value chain of Deutsche Bank , in: Hermann-Josef Lamberti, Andrea Marliere and Achim Pöhler (ed.): Management von Transaktionsbanken , Springer, Berlin 2004, pp. 301–315, here p. 313 -314.
  24. Lamberti 2004, 309
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This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on November 25, 2009 .

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