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DEUTSCHE BANK CEO: I'd rather be running Wells Fargo

Portia Crowe
John Cryan
John Cryan

(REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach)
Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan.

Deutsche Bank on Thursday reported a $7.4 billion loss for 2015 and announced that management's bonuses would be canceled.

The release was followed by a nearly three-hour phone call with CEO John Cryan, in which he sounded pretty glum.

"The bank I would like to run at the moment is Wells Fargo," Cryan said at one point on the call, according to the FT's Laura Noonan.

"I would love to make 400 basis points in retail banking and have a relatively easy life. Unfortunately there are lots of things I wish for that are not going to come true."

Cryan, who took the reins as CEO in July, said he felt personally responsible for the $7 billion loss — "all of it."

"Sometimes I go home in the evening and I say to my wife I wish some people would actually think I had some talent for running a company and not just cleaning it up," he said.

(To get the must-read guide to the key issues at every major Wall Street bank, click here.)

Deutsche Bank confirmed in its 2015 results statement that it took a €1.15 billion pretax loss in the fourth quarter, compared with a net profit of €323 million a year earlier.

This was mainly due to €1.2 billion worth of litigation charges for the period. It brought total litigation charges to €5.2 billion for 2015, up from €2 billion booked in 2014.

The bank had warned of the enormous loss in a preliminary announcement last week.

Wells Fargo, meanwhile, is expected to be a big winner in 2016 as the Federal Reserve continues to hike interest rates. Analysts anticipate a 3% upside to earnings for the bank during the first 100-basis-point increase, or until mid or late 2017.

Cryan said he looked forward to the day that Deutsche Bank would be functioning more smoothly too.

"Once we have the bank set up, its cost bases, its capital in a good place it should be fun running a company like this," he said on the call.

Read more of Cryan's comments in the FT »

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