Deutsche Bank announced massive cuts to its annual bonus scheme on Wednesday, as it looks to absorb the impact of a record $7.2billion (NZ$10b) fine in the US.

Around 25,000 of the bank's most senior staff will receive no individual bonus for 2016. The cuts will apply worldwide, and will affect bankers in London and New York.

Deutsche Bank confirmed the decision in an internal email to staff after days of rumours and unconfirmed media reports in Germany and the US.

"Now that we have a clearer idea of the financial impact of the settlement with the US Department of Justice and our performance for the year, we feel that tough measures are unavoidable.

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"This is especially true at a time when thousands of jobs are being cut and our shareholders are not receiving an annual dividend."

Deutsche Bank is looking to reduce its costs after agreeing the $7.2b (NZ$10b) settlement with the US justice department for mis-selling mortgages in the lead-up to the 2008 financial crisis.

Initial media reports suggested the cut to bonuses would be as high as 90pc, but sources close to Deustche Bank said they would not be so severe.

Around 75pc of the bank's 100,000-strong workforce will not be affected by the cuts.

Instead they will focus on the top 25pc of earners, who usually look forward to considerable bonuses at this time of year.

The bank will seek to prevent an exodus of top staff by offering key figures long-term incentives, which will be deferred for up to six years.

While those affected will lose their individual bonuses, they will still be entitled to group bonuses, which are linked to the bank's performance.

But with Deutsche Bank expected to announce disappointing annual results after a year of turmoil, the group bonuses may provide scant comfort.

Many people in the sector still believe they should be paid entrepreneurial wages for turning up to work with a regular salary, a pension and probably a healthcare scheme and playing with other people's money.

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Deustche Bank shares fell to a record low in September amid fears the bank would struggle to pay its fine in the US, which was originally set at $14b (NZ$19.4b).

Although the reduction of that sum to $7.2b in the settlement finalised this week has calmed immediate fears for the bank, it still faces an urgent need to cut costs.

The bank warned in October it could lay off as many as 10,000 staff worldwide.

Management announced they would again waive their bonuses, as they did last year after the bank recorded a record loss of €6.8bn.

John Cryan, Deutsche's British-born boss, has been outspoken over excessive pay since he took over in 2015.

"Many people in the sector still believe they should be paid entrepreneurial wages for turning up to work with a regular salary, a pension and probably a healthcare scheme and playing with other people's money," he told a press conference in Frankfurt that year.

"There doesn't seem to be anything entrepreneurial about that except the compensation structures."

Cryan has eschewed private jets and used a company pool of drivers rather than a personal chauffeur as CEO.

The total budget for bonuses was cut from €4.3bn in 2010 to €2.4bn in 2015, but critics point out that salaries increased, meaning total personnel costs barely changed and remained at €10.5bn.