Deutsche Bank Revises 2012 Profit

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Mounting litigation overhangs compelled Deutsche Bank AG (DB) to revise its reported profit figures for 2012. In view of the rising lawsuit related expenses, the company has come up with safety measures in order to cushion itself.

Deutsche Bank enhanced its provisions for litigations by EUR 0.6 billion ($0.8 billion) to EUR 2.4 billion ($3.1 billion). Some of the provisions are associated with claims which were formerly announced as contingent liabilities. Due to this, Deutsche Bank's contingent liabilities for relevant legal and regulatory issues lessened by an approximate EUR 0.5 billion ($0.6 billion) to EUR 1.5 billion ($1.9 billion).

This adversely impacted Deutsche Bank's previously announced income before taxes, which reduced by EUR 0.6 billion ($0.8 billion) to EUR 0.8 billion ($1.0 billion). Deutsche Bank's net income also waned by EUR 0.4 billion ($0.5 billion) to EUR 0.3 billion ($0.4 billion).

Consequently, as of Dec 31, 2012, Deutsche Bank's Basel 2.5 Common Equity Tier 1 capital ratio dipped from 11.6% to 11.4%. Further, the Bank's Basel 3 pro-forma Common Equity Tier 1 capital ratio declined from 8.0% to 7.8%. However, as of Mar 31, 2013, Deutsche Bank reaffirmed its target for the Basel 3 pro-forma Common Equity Tier 1 capital ratio of 8.5%.

In late 2010, banks that help set interbank lending rates came under the scrutiny of investigation commissions due to their suspected involvement in the manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate (:LIBOR). Many global banks, which included Deutsche Bank, UBS AG (UBS), Barclays PLC (BCS) and The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (RBS), encountered regulatory probes.

On completion of the investigation, UBS and Barclays had to pay about $2 billion towards the settlement of manipulation allegations. On the other hand, Royal Bank of Scotland has been slapped with a fine of $612 million.

Following this verdict by the investigation commission, Deutsche Bank anticipates the payment of similar settlement money worth billions of dollars. In order to shield itself against any crisis which might arise due to its involvement in the LIBOR manipulation, Deutsche Bank took steps to harden its legal provisions.

These steps are expected to protect Deutsche Bank against any further setbacks which it might face due to the abovementioned litigation charges.

Deutsche Bank currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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