Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank profits halved in the first quarter of 2015Reuters

Deutsche Bank plans to cut costs by €3.5bn ($3.8bn, £2.5bn) in an attempt to boost profitability.

The bank reported a sharp drop in profits in the first three months of the year, reaching €559m, compared to around €1.1bn in the same period a year earlier.

The profit fall follows the bank's announcement that it had set aside €1.5bn for legal costs and regulatory fines.

The bank was fined a record €2.3bn last week for attempting to manipulate inter-bank lending rates.

The Frankfurt-based lender said it sought to reduce costs by cutting its presence in a number of countries and losing around 200 branches by 2020. It could pull out of around 10% of the 70 countries that it currently operates in.

"We must remain client-centric, but focus more sharply on mutually attractive client relationships; remain global, but become more geographically focused; and remain universal, but avoid trying to be all things to all people," said the bank's co-chief executives, Juergen Fitshchen and Anshu Jain.

The bank said it aims to pay out around half of profits in the form of dividends, but did not give further detail.

Despite first quarter profits falling by around half, analysts said that the results actually beat expectations. Revenue rose to a near-record €10.4bn.