The Non-Core Operations Unit (NCOU) is expected to further contribute to the Group’s strategic targets including the deleveraging program. The strategy and mandate focus on accelerated de-risking and are aligned with the Bank’s overall objectives. The aim is to reduce balance sheet size, free up capital and protect shareholder value by reducing risks from remaining assets and business activities.
This has translated into an emphasis on reducing capital demand to improve Deutsche Bank’s capital ratios without diluting shareholders. Going forward, there will also be a strong focus on deleveraging the balance sheet as measured under CRR/CRD 4, thereby assisting the bank to meet its leverage ratio targets. Additional focus is on resolving high-profile contingent risks and non-bank assets as well as aligning the underlying cost base of the NCOU division with the de-risking progress.
Challenges remain for the successful execution of this strategy. The NCOU includes significant investments in individual companies and carries other assets that are no longer part of our core business. These investments and assets are exposed to changes in the economic environment and market conditions. Such changes may make the associated timeline for de-risking activity less certain and may also impact future results. In addition, the NCOU continues to incur the associated costs from expensive liabilities and for the use of DB Group platforms.
The pace of de-risking has slowed as the portfolio size has decreased. This has created a heightened sensitivity to volatility in risk weighted asset calculations, primarily in market and operational risk, and potentially impacting overall capital delivery in the near term. In addition to the uncertainty which arises from the NCOU de-risking strategy, we also expect that the litigation and enforcement environment will continue to be challenging.