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Deutsche Bank sustainably cut costs in 2018, CFO says

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DUESSELDORF (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank sustainably cut costs in 2018, the lender’s finance chief said on Friday, seeking to allay a major concern held by investors in recent years.

Germany’s largest lender has pledged to keep costs at 23 billion euros ($26.50 billion) in 2018 and reduce them to 22 billion euros in 2019.

Analysts on the whole believe the bank will meet these targets, according to a consensus forecast published on the bank’s website, after missing its goals in past years.

“We have our costs under control,” Chief Financial Officer James von Moltke told a New Year’s reception.

“We cut costs sustainably to such a degree in 2018 that we can confidently say: We are convinced that the times are over when Deutsche Bank set targets that it then fails to meet,” von Moltke said.

The past year has been a turbulent one, in part because of allegations of laundering money after a two-day raid in November that involved a police search of all board members’ offices.

“It is obvious that the partially distorted discussions on these issues are damaging our business,” von Moltke said.

“We want to resolve these allegations as quickly as possible, and we are cooperating fully with the authorities,” he said. “So far we have had no evidence of any misconduct on our part,” he said.

($1 = 0.8678 euros)

Reporting by Matthias Inverardi; Writing by Tom Sims; Editing by Riham Alkousaa and Michelle Martin