By Associated Press - Thursday, January 30, 2020

BERLIN (AP) - Germany’s Deutsche Bank said Thursday that its net loss widened in the fourth quarter as a result of charges related to a sweeping restructuring program.

Germany’s biggest bank reported a net loss of 1.48 billion euros ($1.6 billion) for the October-December period, compared with 409 million euros a year earlier. For the full year, it lost 5.27 billion euros, compared with a profit of 341 million euros in 2018.

The full-year loss “was entirely driven by transformation-related effects” and those effects “were broadly in line with projections,” the company said. “As at the end of 2019, Deutsche Bank had recognized 70% of the anticipated cumulative costs to achieve its transformation strategy between 2019 and 2022.”

The fourth-quarter figure included “transformation charges” of 608 million euros and restructuring and severance costs to the tune of 473 million euros. The net figure was dragged down further by deferred tax asset valuation adjustments of around 400 million euros related to the restructuring program.

In July, Deutsche Bank announced plans to cut thousands of jobs by 2022, downsizing its volatile investment banking division in a restructuring aimed at restoring consistent profitability and better returns to shareholders.

Deutsche Bank has struggled for years with low profits, high costs, questions about its business model, and fines and settlements with regulators for misconduct. CEO Christian Sewing took over in 2018 with a mandate to cut costs and improve returns to shareholders.

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