Deutsche Bank Making ‘Good Progress’ on DOJ Deal, Sewing Says

  • Justice Department initially asked for $14 billion settlement
  • Deutsche Bank faced $10.5 billion in legal costs since 2008

Deutsche Bank AG has made “good progress” in talks with the U.S. Justice Department to settle an investigation into its subprime-era mortgage securities business, according to management board member Christian Sewing.

“This is a really difficult situation for us,” Sewing said on a panel at a conference in Hamburg on Thursday. “We have been making good progress over the past four to five weeks.”

While a settlement would remove some uncertainty for Deutsche Bank, Germany’s biggest bank remains under Justice Department investigation in several other matters and also faces potentially expensive civil suits. Chief Executive Officer John Cryan has made resolving major litigation a priority as he seeks to restore confidence in the company’s financial strength.

“You always have to look at both sides -- we made mistakes,” said Sewing, who oversees wealth management, consumer banking and some of the company’s corporate banking businesses. “Now we’re trying to get a fair agreement, and I’m very confident on that.”

The Justice Department initially requested $14 billion to settle the matter, Deutsche Bank said in September, adding that it expected to pay a lower amount at the end of negotiations.

Deutsche Bank has spent more than $10.5 billion on fines and legal settlements since the start of 2008, according to calculations by Bloomberg. The company had 5.9 billion euros in reserves at the end of September for legal issues.

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