• Results are ‘sobering picture of the mood inside our bank’
  • Staff still experience slow decision-making, complex processes

Deutsche Bank AG said a survey of staff found fewer of the German bank’s employees feel committed to the lender than they were a year earlier, with less than half saying they are proud to work at the firm.

“The results paint a sobering picture of the mood inside our bank,” Chief Executive Officer John Cryan and Karl von Rohr, chief administrative officer, said in a memo to staff posted to the company’s website Friday. “The ongoing transformation of our businesses, and the resulting job cuts, are causing a lot of concern and uncertainty.”

Cryan laid out plans in October to cut jobs, risky assets and clients at the bank’s securities unit, Europe’s largest investment bank. At a conference in New York in late May, Cryan told investors that Deutsche Bank is “correcting some mistakes that have been made over the past 20 years or so.” Deutsche Bank trades at about a third of its tangible book value, meaning investors view its assets as worth less than its accounts indicate.

“Unhappy staff aren’t good for developing and generating business,” said Michael Seufert, an analyst at Norddeutsche Landesbank in Hanover, Germany who recommends investors hold Deutsche Bank shares. However, “banks will also be happy if some staff leave, and there aren’t that many places where the good people can go to at the moment.”

A third of the survey’s respondents “still experience significant barriers to doing their job well, such as complex processes, slow decision-making or a lack of cooperation,” the memo said. “In some cases, our processes are not yet clear and simple enough. This is obviously partly a reflection of increased regulatory requirements.”

Cryan and von Rohr said more positive findings of the survey include a high level of employee engagement, with a “vast majority” finding their jobs challenging and interesting. More than 60 percent of respondents said they have observed changes in behavior as a result of the company’s emphasis on values.

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