Fourty two percent of German banks are planning or intending to cut staff - especially in administration departments - said the study from ratings agency Ernst & Young presented on Monday in Frankfurt am Main.
Coming just days after rumors abounded in the German press that Commerzbank was planning to cut up to 6,500 jobs - 18 percent of its workforce.
Just 18 percent of German banks, by contrast, said they wanted to employ more people.
"There are some lean years up ahead for banks," said Claus-Peter Wagner of Ernst & Young on Monday. "That's why the coming months will be marked by reconstructions, cost reductions and risk minimizing."
Half of banks said that they expected the German domestic market to shrink in the coming months. One quarter said they expected their own firm's situation to improve over the next year, with the majority - 40 percent - fearing it would get worse.
The continuing sovereign debt crisis in Europe and the increasing costs of growing regulation were further grounds for pessimism in 2013. Investment banking and related areas - bond or share issuing - would shrink further this year, predicted many banks.
Meanwhile, classic banking services with private individuals and business customers is said to be backing a comeback in the crisis.
Fifty German banks took part in the survey, which tested the waters with 269 banks across Western Europe and Scandinavia.
Europe-wide, the banks' prognoses for 2013 looked even bleaker - 45 percent of banks said they wanted to cut jobs and just 21 percent said they intended to extend their workforces.