Deutsche Bank on Thursday said it plans to slash 3,500 jobs after reporting a 30% drop in fourth-quarter profit that included heavy losses in its US real estate holdings.
The layoffs come after the German banking giant hired 300 front-office staffers in the three-month period ended Dec. 31, though the firm’s CEO Christian Sewing said the headcount reduction will primarily impact back-office roles, and are part of a larger turnaround effort, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“Let me stress that cost discipline continues to be our top priority,” Sewing told reporters, per The Journal, adding that the bank would take more cost-saving measures if need be.
The bank had already announced plans to cut jobs, but this was the first time it had put a number on the layoffs, equivalent to just under 4% of its global workforce of about 90,000. The jobs affected will be back office roles.
Sewing also announced a share buyback plan and to pay dividends will total $1.7 billion during the first half of the year.
Though its fourth-quarter net profits plunged 30% from the year-ago period, the $1.4 billion that was generated easily beat the $853.45 million analysts expected.
Deutsche said it took $133 million hit for its US-based portfolio, which includes its headquarters on Wall Street, as well as locations in California, Florida and Texas, according to a presentation to investors released alongside earnings obtained by Bloomberg,
The provisions mark a more than 350% increase from the roughly $28.2 million it allotted for losses regarding its portfolio in 2022’s fourth quarter, Bloomberg reported.
Deutsche’s US offices represent about 1.5% of its total lending book, according to the outlet.
The bank, based in Frankfurt, Germany, also said refinancing its real estate loans was the “main risk.”
There’s also the possibility that debts will come due on properties that have fallen in value, requiring borrowers to inject fresh equity to secure new loans, the bank said.
Representatives for Deutsche Bank did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.
Deutsche isn’t the only firm that faces debts on its real estate: Last month, Bloomberg revealed that asset manager Blackstone defaulted on its $308 million mortgage on a Manhattan office tower more than a year ago — and the debt is now up for sale at a discount of more than 50%, citing people familiar with the matter.
Given the discounted loan, sources told the outlet that the building — located at 1740 Broadway — could be eligible for an office-to-residential conversion.
The skyscraper has been losing value since 2014, when the mortgage was originated and the 26-story Art Deco-style tower was appraised at $605 million, according to loan documents reviewed by Bloomberg.
The tower is just one of many empty office buildings scattered across New York City, which is in a so-called “urban doom loop” caused by an influx of working from home during the pandemic — a trend that has stuck despite return-to-office mandates.
The doom loop concept is defined by empty office towers, which destroy quality of life and eventually drive residents out.
In the Big Apple, occupancy has only bounced back to 48.4% since the pandemic.
At the start of 2020, however, office occupancy was a strong 90% — before it plummeted to 10% upon the outbreak of COVID-19.