Deutsche Bank allocates €1.2bn for legal costs as profits tumble

Deutsche Bank has reported a significant drop in its third-quarter profits after setting aside €1.2bn (£1bn) to cover legal costs. 

Today’s results follow investigations into allegations that employees at the bank may have played a role in the manipulation of the London interbank offered rate (Libor) to boost its trading position. Profit for the last quarter fell to €51m (£43.7m), from €754m the year before. 

Like many of Deutsche’s rivals, the legal costs surrounding scandals such as Libor have led to a significant dip in profits. US banking giant JP Morgan reported a $400m (£248.7m) quarterly loss earlier this month after taking a $9.2bn hit in legal fees to cover a series of regulatory problems, including a trading fine over the reporting of losses from a trader nicknamed the “London Whale” (11 October 2013).

The €1.2bn set aside by the German banking giant brings Deutsche’s total reserves for litigation to €4.1bn. 

“In the third quarter we met several challenges,” said co-CEOs Jürgen Fitschen and Anshu Jain in a statement. “We took substantial litigation charges and saw reduced profits in investment banking, leading to a lower quarterly result. Notwithstanding this, we made progress in key areas.”

The Frankfurt-headquartered bank completed a rejig of its legal roster at the end of September last year. White & Case was among a raft of firms to be reappointed to the global legal panel, along with Allen & Overy (A&O), Clifford Chance, Latham & Watkins and Linklaters (1 October 2012).

Clifford Chance corporate partner Daniela Weber-Rey was appointed as chief governance officer and deputy global head of compliance at the bank in April (17 April 2013). She was the second partner from a magic circle firm’s German office to quit for a role in a financial institution in a week, following the news that former Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer senior partner Konstantin Mettenheimer was to become German chair of the Edmond de Rothschild Group (15 April 2013).