Henry Grunfeld Professor of Banking, Peter Hahn, appeared on BBC Radio 4’s The Today Programme
this morning (27 September) to discuss Deutsche Bank’s falling share price.
The story concerns the Department of Justice’s decision in the USA to fine the investment bank $14bn for its role in the sub-prime mortgage crisis, but as Professor Hahn said, the issues Deutsche Bank faces, are long-running: “there are a number of issues at play [with Deutsche Bank’s performance], its accounting, derivatives, capital structures. The activity stems from before the financial crisis and it’s not clear who the injured parties are.”
Professor Hahn also said that the bank faced structural problems, which its competitors have avoided: [Deutsche Bank] had ambitions to become a major investment bank, but it chose the wrong products on which to focus and did not build up the right equity bases. It does not have a good strong home business; Barclays can survive on the UK market alone, but Germany is a different matter.
The discussion then turned to the issue of whether Angela Merkel would sanction a bail-out of the bank, given Germany’s long-standing opposition to such moves elsewhere in the Eurozone. Here, Professor Hahn said it was becoming increasingly likely that the government would have to take some form of intervention to stop the bank from failing.
To listen to the interview in full, please listen via the BBC website
from 17 minutes in.