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Deutsche Bank boss to step down amid continued losses

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Image caption Deutsche Bank's chief executive John Cryan will leave at the end of April

The boss of Deutsche Bank is stepping down two years early amid continued losses at Germany's biggest lender.

John Cryan is replaced by co-deputy chief executive Christian Sewing.

British-born Mr Cryan has held the job since 2015 during which time the bank has reported three years of losses.

Chairman Paul Achleitner said: "Following a comprehensive analysis we came to the conclusion that we need a new execution dynamic in the leadership of our bank."

The lender has faced a sales slowdown and its share price has fallen 30% this year.

Mr Cryan will leave Deutsche Bank at the end of the month. His contract was due to run until 2020.

Mr Achleitner said: "Despite his relatively short tenure as chief executive, John Cryan has played a critical role in the almost 150 year history of Deutsche Bank – and laid the groundwork for a successful future of the bank. The supervisory board in general and I personally are grateful for this."

Mr Sewing, who has been with Deutsche Bank for more than 25 years, has been appointed as chief executive with "immediate effect".

Emergency meeting

Deutsche Bank announced the decision after an emergency board meeting, called by Mr Achleitner, to discuss succession on Sunday.

According to Reuters, he began a search to replace Mr Cryan after the bank reported an annual loss of €500m (£436m) at the end of February.

That followed losses of €6.8bn in 2015 and €1.4bn in 2016.

Mr Cryan was appointed as co-chief executive in July 2015 to overhaul the bank following a number of regulatory problems stretching back to before the financial crisis.

He was also tasked with controlling the bank's spiralling costs and quickly cut thousands of jobs.

However, after becoming sole chief executive in 2016, the lender continued to struggle, in large part because of a slump in its investment banking division which accounts for more than half of sales.

Image copyright Reuters

In resolving its legal difficulties, it also incurred a series of heavy penalties, including a $7.2bn (£5.9bn) payment to US authorities in 2016 over an investigation into mortgage-backed securities.

At that time, it was considered to be the most dangerous bank in the world after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) found that a potential collapse of Deutsche posed the biggest risk to the stability of the global financial system.

Also in June 2016, Deutsche Bank's US division failed a stress test conducted by the Federal Reserve, America's central bank.

Deutsche Bank and Banco Santander's US unit were the only two of 33 banks to fail the test to see how they would perform in a financial crisis.

Markus Riesselmann, an analyst at Independent Research, told the AFP news agency: "[Mr Cryan] had to battle serious problems that his predecessors swept under the rug for years.

"He's largely cleared those up and now it looks like Deutsche can't turn things around regarding margins. But I doubt a new chief executive could successfully make that transition.

"It seems rather to be a fundamental 'Deutsche Bank problem'."

Commenting on the new chief executive, Mr Achleitner said: "In his more than 25 years at Deutsche Bank, Christian Sewing has proven himself a strong and disciplined leader.

"The supervisory board is convinced that he and his team will be able to successfully lead Deutsche Bank into a new era. We trust in the great ability of this bank and its many talents."

According to observers, his appointment points to a strategic shift at the lender towards retail banking in its home market Germany.

Mr Sewing was most recently responsible for Deutsche Bank's private and commercial bank.

Deutsche Bank also announced that the co-head of its corporate and investment banking, Marcus Schenck, is leaving.

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Oil prices surge to near four-year high

Oil prices have jumped to the highest level for nearly four years after Saudi Arabia and Russia ruled out any immediate increase in production.

The decision on Sunday was effectively a rebuff to US President Donald Trump, who has called for immediate action to raise global supply.

Brent crude rose more than 3% to more than $81 a barrel on Monday, its highest level since November 2014.

Saudi Arabia dominates the OPEC group of oil-producing nations and Russia is its biggest oil-producer ally outside the group.

They have reportedly been discussing raising output by half a million barrels a day to counter falling supply from Iran.

But a meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC energy ministers in Algiers ended without any formal recommendation for a supply boost.

Mr Trump said last week that OPEC "must get prices down".

Experts estimate that once US sanctions on Iran are fully implemented from November it could result in the loss of as many as two million barrels a day from global supply.

Commodity traders Trafigura and Mercuria said they expected Brent crude to climb above $90 by Christmas and to pass $100 early in 2019.

BNP Paribas oil strategist Harry Tchilinguirian told Reuters Global Oil Forum: "It is now increasingly evident, that in the face of producers reluctant to raise output, the market will be confronted with supply gaps in the next three to six months that it will need to resolve through higher oil prices."

Higher prices tend to mean higher petrol costs.

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However the AA has said other factors, including the strengthening pound over recent weeks, means that wholesale prices have fallen, and that this should help keep the lid on costs.

Meanwhile, higher oil prices tend to benefit UK-listed companies such as BP and Royal Dutch Shell, which employ thousands of people in the North Sea and whose shares are staples in many UK pension funds.

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Rosenstein could be fired after ‘criticising Trump’

By Lucia Binding, news reporter

The US deputy attorney general has been summoned to the White House where he is expecting to be fired by President Donald Trump.

Rod Rosenstein oversees special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign before the 2016 presidential election.

And Mr Rosenstein has been the inquiry's chief public defender.

He has said he will not resign and that the White House would have to sack him, NBC reported.

Last week, he was reported to have suggested the idea of secretly recording Mr Trump in 2017 after the president had fired James Comey, the FBI director.

Mr Rosenstein also reportedly suggested invoking the 25th Amendment to have the Cabinet remove the president from office.

Mr Trump himself was in New York for a meeting of the UN General Assembly on Monday.

If Mr Rosenstein resigns, the president has more leeway on replacing him, while sacking him would make it harder for Mr Trump to designate a successor.

But NBC News reported that Mr Rosenstein said he would not resign and the White House would have to fire him.

Any termination or resignation would have immediate implications for special counsel Mr Mueller's investigation.

Donald Trump
Image: Donald Trump has been unsure about what to do about Mr Rosenstein following a report in the New York Times

Mr Rosenstein appointed Mr Mueller and oversees his inquiry.

Mr Trump had previously considered the idea of firing Mr Rosenstein in April after FBI raids of the office and home of the president's longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen.

Cohen has since pleaded guilty to several felonies and taken part in hours of interviews with Robert Mueller.

But the latest move follows the New York Times report of Mr Rosenstein's comments made last year, which played to some of the president's concerns about a secret "Deep State" trying to undermine him from within the government.

Mr Rosenstein subsequently said the article was inaccurate and was based on "biased" anonymous sources "advancing their own personal agenda".

Rod Rosenstein said there would 'always be adversaries' working to 'exacerbate domestic differences'
Image: Mr Rosenstein was reported to have suggested the idea of secretly recording Donald Trump last year

He added: "Based on my personal dealings with the president, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment."

The Justice Department also released a statement from an individual who claimed Mr Rosenstein's recording comment was meant sarcastically.

As of Sunday, Mr Trump has been ambivalent over what to do about Mr Rosenstein.

Some of his confidants urged him to fire Mr Rosenstein, while others suggested he wait and see if the report was incorrect, or if it was planted by some adversary.

Earlier this year, the president publicly denied referring to his deputy attorney general as "Mr Peepers".

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