By Ludwig Burger
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany's largest lender Deutsche Bank (DBK.DE) has signaled it might have to set aside more money for potential future litigation costs, following its $1.9 billion settlement with a U.S. mortgage market regulator.
In an interview with German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung published on Saturday, co-CEO Juergen Fitschen said Deutsche's reserves to deal with anticipated legal difficulties, worth 4.1 billion euros ($5.6 billion) as of September 30, should not be seen as a definitive final amount.
"We increase the reserves whenever we deem it necessary. There is no final amount, we are in an ongoing process," Fitschen was quoted saying, asked to comment on speculation that the current level of provisioning was insufficient.
Deutsche Bank said on Friday it would pay $1.9 billion to settle Federal Housing Finance Agency claims that it defrauded two U.S. government-controlled companies in the sale of mortgage-backed securities before the 2008 financial crisis.
The bank said the payment had already been taken into account in its litigation reserves and no additional reserves would be taken for the settlement. But it is also is working to resolve a raft of other legal and regulatory problems.
Anshu Jain, the lender's other Co-CEO, refused to be drawn in the interview on whether a capital increase would be needed.
"We are committed to our high capital standards, that's all I can say about this," Jain was quoted saying.
Jain also said Deutsche's wealth management unit would see higher earnings growth in 2013 than the bank's other divisions.
"Since we have completely restructured this division, we've seen enormous growth and I'm confident that this trend will continue next year," he said.
Jain added he was also "very optimistic" about the Private and Business Clients division.
The lender's other divisions are Corporate Banking and Securities, Global Transaction Banking, plus a Non-Core Operations unit.
($1 = 0.7315 euros)
(Editing by David Holmes)