Deutsche Bank faces highest borrowing costs among European peers

Deutsche Bank faces higher borrowing costs
Deutsche Bank faces higher borrowing costs

Deutsche Bank pays more to borrow from other banks than its peers including stragglers in Greece and Italy, Euribor data showed on Tuesday, a trend that underscores the gravity of the problems facing Germany's flagship lender.

Deutsche is the only bank to pay to borrow over a 9 or 12-month period of a group of 21 lenders, which are polled to determine the price of interbank borrowing for the wider sector.

The reading puts Deutsche in a worse position even than Italy's embattled Monte dei Paschi or the National Bank of Greece, due to concerns over a likely multi-billion-euro legal penalty for misselling toxic mortgage securities.

The data, compiled by the European Money Market Institute to set the Euribor benchmark, provides a rare glimpse into the repercussions of a crisis of confidence in the bank that has seen its stock price tumble by almost half this year.

It has become free for nearly all banks to borrow after the European Central Bank cut its deposit rate below zero and pumped more than one trillion euros into the market to shore up the economy.

But the data showed that Deutsche Bank, exceptionally, had to pay 0.02 percent to borrow money from its peers over nine months. It paid 0.06 percent for a year-long loan.

How could Germany rescue Deutsche Bank?
How could Germany rescue Deutsche Bank?

Although the charges are small, all other 19 banks in the panel, including BNP Paribas, Barclays Bank and Credit Agricole, are paid to borrow for that period.

Worries that Deutsche could be crippled by a U.S. fine have sent its shares to a historic low, prompting speculation that the government could be forced to help a bank whose returns have already slumped to zero.

Last week, Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, took the unusual step of questioning the bank's business model, urging it to "decide what size it wants to have" after turbulent weeks in which its share price plunged.

Now management is re-examining the strategy, people familiar with the matter said.

The organizational change, launched in October last year by the then new chief executive John Cryan, aimed to slash costs by cutting staff, overheads and selling off some non-core businesses at Germany's largest lender.

But a year on, with its staff numbers barely changed and little clarity on what the bank's long-term business model will look like, management is being forced to find ways to speed up its turnaround.

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