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Deutsche Bank CEO says he reprimanded executives for having $1,800 suits fitted day of mass layoffs

Key Points
  • Two tailors were photographed coming out of the German bank's London office on Monday. Originally, the men were incorrectly identified as employees who had been sacked by mass layoffs. 
  • In reality, they were at Deutsche's London office to fit $1,800 suits for senior staff who were not hit by the job cuts, according to a report in Financial News. 
  • "That someone would let a tailor come on such a day is disrespectful," Sewing said in an interview with the German newspaper Handelsblatt on Thursday. "In no way is this behavior in keeping with our values." 
Christian Sewing, chief executive officer of Deutsche Bank AG, pauses as Germanys biggest bank announces full year earnings in Frankfurt, Germany, on Friday. Feb. 1, 2019. Deutsche Banks revenue contracted for an eighth straight quarter in the final months of last year, complicating Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewings plan to turn around the lender through cost cutting. Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Krisztian Bocsi | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing says he reprimanded executives for having expensive custom suits tailored the day that mass layoffs hit the troubled bank's offices in London, New York and Tokyo.

Two tailors were photographed coming out of the German bank's London office on Monday. Originally, the men were incorrectly identified as employees who had been sacked.

In reality, they were at Deutsche's London office to fit $1,800 suits for senior staff who were not hit by the job cuts, according to a report in Financial News.

"That someone would let a tailor come on such a day is disrespectful," Sewing said in an interview with the German newspaper Handelsblatt on Thursday. "In no way is this behavior in keeping with our values."

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When asked if there would be any personnel consequences, Sewing said only that he called the "colleagues" involved and discussed the incident with them.

"I assume in any case that the two colleagues will not forget my telephone call," Sewing said, suggesting he gave them a tongue-lashing.

Deutsche Bank announced Sunday that it was shutting down its global stock trading business and slashing 18,000 positions in a massive restructuring to improve the troubled bank's profitability.

Deutsche once sought to compete with large American banks on Wall Street, a strategy that began with its $10 billion acquisition of Bankers Trust in the late 1990s.

But the German bank's aggressive and ambitious strategy to become a global power house ultimately backfired. Deutsche has been severely weakened by a series of costly scandals related to business practices in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis as well as other alleged wrongdoing.

Deutsche reached a $7.2 billion settlement with the U.S. Justice Department in January 2017 for allegedly misleading investors in the sale of mortgage-backed securities. The bank was also slapped with a $630 million fine over allegations of Russian money laundering.

Those penalties came two years after the bank paid a $2.5 billion fine to U.S. and U.K. regulators for allegedly participating in a scheme to rig interest rates.

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