Deutsche Bank Reverses Course, Says It Is ‘Winding Down’ Business in Russia, Sending Stock Up

Frankfurt, Germany - June 10, 2012: Main entrance to a Deutsche Bank branch in downtown Frankfurt, Germany.
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Deutsche Bank reversed its stance on Russia, announcing on March 11 that it was unwinding its business in the country following mounting criticism from investors after its CEO said the bank would not withdraw its presence.

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“As we have repeatedly said, we condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the strongest possible terms and support the German government and its allies in defending our democracy and freedom,” Deutsche Bank said in a statement posted on its website.

“To clarify: Deutsche Bank has substantially reduced its Russian exposure since 2014. Like some international peers and in line with our legal and regulatory obligations, we are in the process of winding down our remaining business in Russia while we help our non-Russian multinational clients in reducing their operations. There won’t be any new business in Russia,” the statement said.

A day earlier, Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing had said in a memo to staff that the bank wouldn’t pull out of Russia, according to Bloomberg.

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“We are often asked why we are not withdrawing completely from Russia,” Sewing said in the memo, according to Bloomberg. “The answer is that this would go against our values. We have clients who cannot exit Russia overnight. And, as far as we can, we will continue to also support them, too, at this difficult time.”

Read: Goldman Sachs Becomes First Wall Street Giant To Exit Russia

Deutsche Bank shares jumped higher in early Monday trading, up over 8% as investors acknowledged the turnaround, CNBC reported. 

The bank’s reversal follows earlier moves by Wall Street giants Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, as GOBankingRates previously reported.

In an emailed statement to GOBankingRates, a Goldman Sachs spokesperson said on March 10 that “we are focused on supporting our clients across the globe in managing or closing out pre-existing obligations in the market and ensuring the well-being of our people.”

As for Citigroup, it said on March 9 that it is continuing its previously announced efforts to exit its consumer banking business in Russia.

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“As we work toward that exit, we are operating that business on a more limited basis given current circumstances and obligations,” Edward Skyler, executive vice president, Global Public Affairs, said in a statement on the bank’s website.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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