(Bloomberg) — Deutsche Bank AG Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing didn’t rule out considering a takeover as early as next year if the lender’s share price recovers, while saying the priority remains implementing his turnaround plan.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Bloomberg TV, Sewing said he was “laser-focused” on executing on his four-year strategy, which runs through 2022. But pushed on whether that means no deal before then, the CEO said the key phase of the bank’s transformation will actually be completed within the next three months.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Deutsche Bank AG Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing at The Handelsblatt Banking Summit

© Bloomberg
Deutsche Bank AG Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing at The Handelsblatt Banking Summit

Christian Sewing on Sept. 2.


Load Error

Photographer: Alex Kraus/Bloomberg

“We’ve said 2019 and 2020 are the key years” of the restructuring, he said in the interview. While Sewing didn’t say if and when he’s willing to consider big deals, he reiterated he wouldn’t want to be the takeover target in any transaction. If the bank’s valuation were to recover, “we then have a different position, a better position,” the CEO said.

The comments come as the coronavirus pandemic has reignited takeovers and fueled deal chatter in boardrooms across the continent. UBS Group AG Chairman Axel Weber has drawn up a wish list of potential merger candidates, with Deutsche Bank among the most favored scenarios, Bloomberg reported last month. The two lenders briefly held informal talks last year and Sewing, too, privately favors a deal with UBS, Bloomberg News has reported.

‘Junior Partner’

“Consolidation needs to happen in Europe,” Sewing said in the interview. But for Deutsche Bank, “it’s important that we’re not a junior partner.” The CEO also pointed out that most of the recent deals in European banking have been domestic, because regulatory obstacles to cross-border consolidation remain.

For now, Deutsche Bank’s market value would

If you’re planning for retirement, you may have heard of the 4% rule. It says you can safely withdraw 4% of a retirement portfolio’s balance in the first year of retirement, then adjust the withdrawal for inflation every year after that. The model assumes a steady 50/50 split between stocks and Treasury bonds. Following the 4% rule should mean you’d never fully deplete your portfolio over a 30-year retirement period.


But 2020 might’ve changed all that. Someone retiring today might not be able to expect the same level of returns that the markets provided for the past 150 years. Here’s why.

Unprecedentedly low interest rates

With the economy in distress in March, the Federal Reserve dropped the target Fed funds rate by one percentage point to between 0% and 0.25%. It previously did the same thing during the 2008 financial crisis, and it kept the rate near 0% through 2015. The difference this time is Treasury bill yields were already near their record lows before the Fed’s actions.

Ten-year Treasury bills currently yield about 0.65%. In early February, they yielded 1.5%, a rate previously seen only in the summers of 2012 and 2016. The only other time the 10-year Treasury bill yield fell below 2% was 1941.


Investors and lenders base the price of bonds and debt on Treasury bill yields, which are seen as risk-free since they’re backed by the U.S. government. As a result, interest rates and bond yields have dropped across the board because of the Fed’s decision in

Insurance companies are getting even more time to implement a new rule for valuing long-term contracts following a vote by the Financial Accounting Standards Board on Wednesday.

The rule maker, which sets accounting standards for companies and nonprofits in the U.S., in June proposed a delay of another year for the new rule amid the economic harm caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The rule was first delayed by a year last November to give companies more time to modernize their processes for reporting and valuation.

Insurance firms must review assumptions used to measure the value of their long-term contractual obligations and make revisions if needed. Long-term contracts include agreements on annuities, endowments and title insurance. Short-duration contracts usually cover property and liability protection.

Publicly listed insurers, excluding small ones, may now delay implementing the new standard until after Dec. 15, 2022. All others are allowed to wait until after Dec. 15, 2024.

Insurance companies in comment letters to FASB said a delay would give them time to address coronavirus hurdles and adequately prepare for the new standard by, for example, testing internal controls and educating management and investors.

Columbus, Ga.-based insurer

Aflac Inc.

was prepared for another potential delay in the new standard, Chief Financial Officer Max Brodén said. Challenges stemming from the pandemic have forced Aflac to revise its business goals and timelines, including for issues such as implementing new accounting rules, Chief Accounting Officer June Howard wrote in an Aug. 6 letter to FASB.

Principal Financial Group Inc.,

a Des Moines, Iowa-based insurer, is currently developing new valuation models and will update its actuarial systems to comply with the new rule, finance chief Deanna Strable-Soethout said. The delay