Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing said he scolded senior staff members at its London office for getting suits fitted on the same day many of their fellow staffers were let go.
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The bank announced Sunday that it would cut 18,000 jobs by 2022, downsizing its volatile investment banking division. Many of the investment banking activities were carried out in New York and London.
The bank was criticized after tailors were photographed leaving its London office Monday carrying suit bags. The tailors were wrongly identified as staffers but actually worked for Fielding & Nicholson Tailoring, Financial News reported. The tailors were reportedly fitting suits, which sell for around $1,800, for senior staff members who were not affected by the job slashings, the media outlet reported.
Sewing told German newspaper Handelsblatt Thursday that he reprimanded those who had the tailors come to the office that day.
“I don’t understand why someone at our London office on Monday ordered a tailor for custom-made suits,” Sewing said. “This behavior is in no way consistent with our values.”
When the newspaper asked if there would be any consequences, Sewing said, “If you see it as a consequence that the CEO personally calls his colleagues and talks to them about it, then yes.”
He added that the staff members would “not forget” that phone call.
Deutsche Bank's involvement in investment banking dates back to 1989 when it took over Morgan Grenfell. However, the bank struggled for years with high costs, weak profits and a low share price. It also paid billions in fines and settlements related to behavior before and after the global financial crisis. Analysts expect Deutsche Bank's departure to be a net benefit for U.S.-based investment banks like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.