It hasn't all been Deutsche Bank's fault, but a once great City house has been reduced to an also-ran. Even its name has been largely erased from the landscape. Rather than seeing this debacle for what it is - a cockup of considerable proportions - Deutsche blames it on Morgan Grenfell being too small to compete, particularly in the all-important US investment banking market. To correct the position, it is now buying Bankers Trust, which at least has the merit of already being an also-ran, both in the UK and the US.
Will two also-rans make a top dog? It hasn't so far worked at Warburg Dillon Read, which is still in a state of profound post-surgical shock after last year's merger with UBS. The pain of this latest City merger is likely to be even worse. Obviously, for employees there is nothing other than a P45 in these huge consolidating mergers, while it goes without saying that clients and customers rarely gain a dime. But it is not clear that shareholders get anything out of them either, long term.
Deutsche reckons that tradeable securities are now so much a part of global banking that it cannot be a serious bank without an investment banking presence. Just try that one on Sir Brian Pitman, chairman of Lloyds TSB.Reuse content