April 26 (Bloomberg) -- Deutsche Bank AG, Germany’s biggest lender, paid employees at the corporate and investment bank 23 percent less in the first quarter as the sovereign debt crisis curbed trading.
The company paid 1.59 billion euros ($2.1 billion) in compensation and benefits to employees at the division that includes transaction banking, compared with 2.07 billion euros a year earlier, according to Deutsche Bank filings today.
That was enough to pay an average of 108,301 euros in the first quarter to the 14,672 employees at the unit, down from 134,143 euros a year earlier, the documents show. Deutsche Bank paid an average of 50,507 euros in the fourth quarter.
Revenue from debt trading in the first quarter dropped 8.1 percent to 3.39 billion euros from a year earlier and compared with 1.04 billion euros in the prior three months. That beat the 3.12 billion-euro estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. While equity trading revenue also rebounded from the fourth quarter, it fell 23 percent to 726 million euros from a year ago. That missed the 750 million-euro estimate of analysts.
Total compensation expenses in the first quarter shrank 15 percent to 3.7 billion euros from 4.3 billion euros in the same period a year before, the Frankfurt-based lender said. The decline also reflects a change in accounting methods for early retirement charges, according to Deutsche Bank.
The lender in the past took charges for each employee eligible for early retirement in the first quarter. Now employees have until February to tell the bank whether they want to opt for early retirement in the course of that year. As a result Deutsche Bank only books charges for this group of people. The changes saved the bank 300 million euros of non-cash charges in the quarter, Chief Financial Officer Stefan Krause said on an analyst call.
“Before this we always had this very disturbing first-quarter effect,” he said.