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BERLIN, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Fines that Deutsche Bank faces in the United States pose an enormous challenge to the bank, German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Friday, adding that its leadership was reacting by changing the lender’s business model.
Gabriel said the government did not have its own risk assessment for the bank and that it was clear that the government was keen to see the bank succeed in the longer term.
“It’s completely obvious that we have an interest in Deutsche Bank again becoming a stable financial institution that is successful nationally and internationally,” Gabriel told a news conference.
He declined to comment on a possible government bailout for the bank or a report that listed companies are mulling an equity stake in Germany’s largest lender.
Asked if the government would give the lender emergency financial assistance less than a year before a federal election, Gabriel said: “I‘m not a fan of speculations on things that are not on the agenda.”
Deutsche has been sucked into a crisis of confidence after the U.S. Justice Department said it should pay up to $14 billion to settle claims that it mis-sold U.S. mortgage-backed securities before the financial crisis.
It has seen its share price recover in the last few days amid reports that it may be able to negotiate a lower U.S. fine and on supportive statements from clients and rival banks.
The lender has struck a deal with its works council, or labour representatives, on restructuring measures that take the total number of job cuts it is making in Germany to 4,000, it said on Thursday.
The agreement on slashing another 1,000 jobs is part of a deep overhaul it announced last year which includes it shedding a total of 9,000 jobs worldwide. (Reporting by Joseph Nasr and Andrea Shalal; Editing by Michael Nienaber and Hugh Lawson)