Deutsche Bank, Santander profits smash forecasts

STORY: Deutsche Bank’s full-year profit more than doubled last year to about $5.5 billion dollars.

The German lender said that marked its largest annual profit since 2007, and its third-straight year in the black.

It also reported forecast-beating earnings of almost $2 billion dollars in the fourth quarter, soaring past analyst expectations.

The bank credited buoyant trading and a boost from higher interest rates.

The year’s end also marked the culmination of Deutsche's four-year program to reduce expenses.

While the plan has stabilized the company, challenges could lie ahead.

Some analysts were disappointed by a drop in fourth-quarter investment bank revenues and warned of risks from slowing economies, high inflation and peaking interest rates.

The bank has also been hit by an industry-wide slump in dealmaking.

And Deutsche’s CEO refused to rule out job cuts to further reduce costs.

The bank's shares fell were down around 2% by early afternoon.

Spain’s Santander also exceeded analyst expectations,

Posting an 18% jump in annual profit to a record $10.5 billion.

The euro zone's second-biggest lender by market value was also helped by higher rates, and saw a solid performance in its corporate and investment banking divisions.

Its shares were up over 6% by lunchtime in Europe.