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Deutsche Bank shares plunge over fears

Deutsche Bank is a $2 trillion problem

Deutsche Bank’s investors are hitting the panic button… again.

The stock plummeted more than 7% to a new low on Friday after reports indicated that 10 hedge fund clients are reducing their dealings with Germany’s biggest bank.

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The action by the hedge funds, which was first reported by Bloomberg, is fueling anxiety about the bank’s financial health. Investors also have worries about whether the bank will be able to afford a looming U.S. fine for trading in toxic mortgages a decade ago.

Deutsche Bank (DB) said in a statement that its financial position was stable.

“Our trading clients are amongst the world’s most sophisticated investors. We are confident that the vast majority of them have a full understanding of our stable financial position,” a spokesman said.

Fabrizio Camelli, head of Deutsche Bank’s wealth management business, directly addressed the Bloomberg report, telling a German newspaper that the bank had not seen “any noticeable outflow of client funds.”

“Of course some of our customers are asking what’s going on at Deutsche Bank at the moment,” he told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung. “We’re telling them that we’re doing better than it may appear from the outside.”

Investors paid the bank’s defense little heed, sending its stock below 10 euros in early trading in Frankfurt. The bank’s shares have declined by 55% this year to their lowest level in more than two decades.

Related: The world’s riskiest bank is in trouble

It’s the latest in a series of body blows for Deutsche Bank (DB), which has $2 trillion of assets on its books.

It has spent billions settling charges that it conspired to manipulate global interest rates and colluded with other banks to rig foreign exchange rates; its margins have disappeared due to record low interest rates and the cost of new regulations; and it has been slammed with a $14 billion demand from the U.S. Justice Department over its role in the global financial crisis.

Deutsche Bank said this month it “has no intent to settle these potential civil claims anywhere near the number cited.”

Related: Does Deutsche Bank need a bailout?

Investors are now openly asking whether the bank will need a bailout.

German media reported earlier this week that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government was considering ways of rescuing Deutsche Bank.

The government denied those reports, and Deutsche Bank said it had never asked Merkel for help.

The bank added that it is not currently considering asking investors for more cash, saying it was determined to deal with the challenges it faces on its own.

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