Deutsche Bank said the U.S. Justice Department is seeking $14 billion to settle a probe tied to residential mortgage-backed securities, more money than it's willing to pay.
"Deutsche Bank has no intent to settle these potential civil claims anywhere near the number cited," the company said early Friday in Frankfurt. "The negotiations are only just beginning. The bank expects that they will lead to an outcome similar to those of peer banks which have settled at materially lower amounts."
Chief Executive Officer John Cryan, 55, has struggled to boost profitability by selling risky assets and eliminating jobs as unresolved legal probes and claims add to concerns that the lender will be forced to raise capital. Reaching a mortgage deal would clear a major hurdle for Deutsche Bank, which has paid more than $9 billion in fines and settlements since the start of 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
"While this number seems very large, it's obviously a first negotiation point," Chris Wheeler, an analyst at Atlantic Equities, told Francine Lacqua on Bloomberg Television. "There's going to be an awful lot of management time spent on it to get to a sensible number."
Deutsche Bank fell as much as 8.2 percent, the biggest intraday drop since June 27, and was down 7.6 percent at 12.10 euros at 12:36 p.m. in Frankfurt. Other European lenders probed in relation to residential mortgage-backed securities also declined, with UBS Group AG down 2.9 percent and Credit Suisse Group AG slipping 5.2 percent. Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc slumped 4.5 percent, while Barclays Plc fell 2.8 percent.
The bank's 1.75 billion euros ($2 billion) of 6 percent additional Tier 1 bonds, the first notes to take losses, fell 5 cents to 78 cents on the euro, the biggest drop since the U.K. voted to leave the European Union. Deutsche Bank's 650 million pounds of 7.125 percent notes fell 5 pence to 81 pence on the pound, also a record fall.
"They are dropping like a stone," said Tomas Kinmonth, a credit strategist at ABN Amro Bank NV in Amsterdam. "The fine, even if reduced, could surpass all provisions held by the bank."
Germany's government expects a "fair outcome" in the U.S. probe, a spokeswoman for the Finance Ministry in Berlin said on Friday.
Germany's largest lender confirmed that it had started negotiations with the Justice Department to settle civil claims the U.S. may consider over the bank's issuing and underwriting of residential mortgage-backed securities from 2005 to 2007. The Wall Street Journal reported the $14 billion claim on Thursday.
Bank of America Corp. paid $17 billion to reach a settlement in a similar case in 2014, the biggest such accord to date. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. agreed to a $5.1 billion settlement with the U.S. earlier this year, including a $2.4 billion civil penalty and $875 million in cash payments, to resolve U.S. allegations that it failed to properly vet mortgage-backed securities before selling them to investors as high-quality debt. The settlement included an admission of wrongdoing.
The Justice Department, in concluding previous investigations into the sale of mortgage-backed securities that soured during the financial crisis, typically has presented initial penalties higher than what banks ultimately paid, people familiar with those negotiations have said. The sides may negotiate over the final tab, as well as what conduct the bank will acknowledge and whether individuals will be sanctioned.
Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr declined to comment on the negotiations.