Rising delinquencies among consumer and corporate borrowers are the "next wave" of the financial crisis and may affect banks that have avoided losses so far, said Deutsche Bank AG Chief Executive Officer Josef Ackermann.
"This crisis has consisted of a series of earthquakes, with changing epicenters," Ackermann said late last week at an event in Zurich. "Bad loans are the next wave. Banks that have fared relatively well so far will also be affected by this."
Deutsche Bank said last week that it set aside $1.4 billion for risky loans in the second quarter. "We were struck by the 44% increase in problem loans in the quarter," Morgan Stanley analysts Huw van Steenis and Hubert Lam said in a note Friday, cutting their rating on Deutsche Bank shares to "equal-weight," from "overweight."
"The crisis is not over," Ackermann said. "When one looks at the developments of global economic growth, then it can be expected that starting in the second half of this year we slowly move into the positive territory. But we're still moving on a low level."
Banks that were forced to take government aid and are now encouraged to increase domestic lending may be more in danger from rising loan defaults than companies that can expand internationally and diversify risks, Ackermann said.
Deutsche Bank "intentionally" reduced its balance sheet and risk-taking this year, he said.
"We were disciplined in our considerations about what risks" to take, Ackermann said. "If we had played it out to the full extent, we could have earned significantly more."