Deutsche Bank eyes bonus hikes after third-quarter profit


Deutsche Bank plans to reward its top-performing bankers with higher bonuses this year after its investment arm helped it post a surprise third-quarter profit.

The German megabank has piled up a larger amount of money for bonuses thanks to its stronger-than-expected performance so far this year amid a corporate restructuring and the coronavirus pandemic, chief financial officer James von Moltke said Wednesday.

“I think a company like ours needs to be able to pay competitively for performance such as was delivered this year,” von Moltke said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “We’re mindful of the balance we need to strike between prudence as we navigate through a very uncertain environment and, again, rewarding people for the strong performance this year.”

Von Moltke’s comments came as Deutsche reported a profit of 309 million euros ($362.6 million) for the July-to-September quarter, driven in part by a 43 percent spike in revenue from its investment bank amid a surge in trading.

The Frankfurt-based lender may keep its overall bonus pool roughly flat at 1.9 billion euros, or $2.2 billion, but top performers could get a boost because the bank has fewer employees than it did a year ago, Bloomberg News reported.

The European Central Bank has urged banks to use “extreme moderation” when doling out bonuses given the continued economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic. But von Moltke said Deutsche has a strong enough balance sheet to support bigger payouts for its best staffers.

“We have superb talent in the company, we are able to deploy that talent to support our clients, to support the economy and also to manage the risks of a major bank through an environment like this,” von Moltke told Bloomberg. “And I think it’s sensible to be able to protect that franchise by being able to compensate our employees in line with that performance.”

With Post wires

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