Deutsche Bank Chairman Achleitner says John Cryan was too slow in delivering results

  • Paul Achleitner, the chairman of the bank's supervisory board, told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung late Monday that Cryan had made many big decisions.
  • But, he added that the speed at which the board made decisions and enforced them was hindered during his tenure.

Deutsche Bank's outgoing CEO John Cryan was taking too long to revamp and revive the German lender, according to the bank's chairman.

The German bank decided Sunday to appoint a new chief executive officer, Christian Sewing, its fourth leader in six years. Deutsche Bank has been struggling over the last few years, posting a 497 million euro ($612 million) loss for 2017, compared to the 290 million euro loss that Reuters analysts had estimated. This marked the third consecutive annual loss for the bank.

Paul Achleitner, the chairman of the bank's supervisory board, told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung late Monday that Cryan had undoubtedly made a name for himself with Deutsche Bank and made many big decisions. But, he added that the speed at which the board made decisions and enforced them was hindered during his tenure. Achleitner stated that the bank announced a capital increase a year ago when the share price was about 17 euros. Last week, the share price was temporarily below 11 euros, he added.

Questions on future of investment banking

Deutsche Bank's investment unit, in particular, has struggled over the last couple of years against increased market competition, in both trading and deal advising. However, the decision to appoint Christian Sewing — an expert in commercial banking — has raised doubts as to whether Deutsche Bank will reduce its investment banking activity.

John Cryan, CEO of Deutsche Bank
Daniel Roland | AFP | Getty Images
John Cryan, CEO of Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank is the "only German bank, truly German bank, which is able to play in both fields, so it's something like a bridge from Germany into the international capital markets," Hans-Peter Burghof, professor of banking at Hohenheim University, told CNBC's "Squawk Box Europe" Tuesday about the bank's commercial and investment sides.

"But playing both is somehow a conflict of culture, they never get over this conflict," he added.

According to Burghof, the commercial side of the bank blames the bad performance of the investment side for its losses. However, the investment unit brags that in good times it is responsible for any stellar profits, he added. If Sewing were to concentrate just on the retail side, then "the bank will become too small and not special anymore," Burghof said.

'Who would like to do it?'

During these recent management changes, there has also been intense pressure on Paul Achleitner himself, who has appointed three new chiefs during his tenure. On Monday, Hans-Christoph Hirt, the head of Hermes Equity Ownership Services at Hermes Investment Management, told CNBC's "Squawk Box Europe," that Achleitner has a number of questions to answer. Hermes Equity Ownership Services is a shareholder of Deutsche Bank's.

"We don't say he has to go, but he has some very serious questions to answer ahead of the AGM (annual general meeting) and at the AGM on the 24th of May," he said.

But according to Burghof there's nobody available to replace the chairman. "He's got the links, he's got the power, he's from Goldman Sachs, he is a guarantee for a very good power network in today's world."

"Who would like to do it?" Burghof wondered, it's "not very attractive to lead Deutsche Bank at the moment," he added.