Deutsche Bank boss condemns managers for having £1,000 suits fitted as jobs cuts announced

‘Our timing was not great,’ says upmarket London tailor

Adam Forrest
Saturday 13 July 2019 01:28
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Tailors carrying suit bags leave Deutsche Bank office in London
Tailors carrying suit bags leave Deutsche Bank office in London

Deutsche Bank’s chief executive Christian Sewing has condemned two of his managers after he said they had expensive custom suits tailored the same day the company announced massive job cuts.

The struggling bank announced a major restructuring on Monday that includes the axing of 18,000 jobs, which has pummelled its shares this week.

Two tailors from the upmarket firm Fielding & Nicholson photographed leaving the bank’s London office the day of the announcement were later found to be fitting the expensive suits for a pair of senior employees unaffected by the layoffs.

“That someone would let a tailor come on such a day is disrespectful,” Mr Sewing told German newspaper Handelsblatt. “In no way is this behaviour in keeping with our values.”

The chief executive said he had reprimanded the managers, but did not say whether there would be any formal disciplinary action. “I assume in any case that the two colleagues will not forget my telephone call,” Mr Sewing said.

The two mangers were originally thought to have been among the employees let go, but it was later revealed they were unaffected by the restructure in a report on the fitting by Financial News.

Ian Fielding-Calcutt, founder of Fielding & Nicholson, where prices for a tailored suit start in excess of £1,000 said the timing of the incident “was not great”.

“I think a lot of the people getting laid off were traders of some sort, who don’t wear suits, and so we just went ahead as normal with our clients, who obviously weren’t affected by the cuts,” he told the newspaper.

CEO of Deutsche Bank Christian Sewing

Deutsche Bank employees around the world were sent home shortly after arriving on Monday. The company has not said how the cuts would be distributed, though large reductions in headcount are expected in London, home to 8,000 staff and the firm’s largest trading operation.

The bank has wrestled with regulatory penalties and fines, weak profits and a low share price for several years. The bank went three straight years without turning an annual profit before recording positive earnings in 2018.

On Thursday Donald Trump defended his use of Deutsche Bank and claimed the German bank was being “badly written about and maligned,” as congressional Democrats probe his finances.

Democrats on two US House of Representatives panels are investigating the president’s ties with the German bank and are pursuing his records of accounts, transactions and investments, as well as those of his family members and the Trump Organisation.

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