Deutsche Bank

Auf Wiedersehen Universal Banking

db corbis
Deutsche Bank customers could find more closed branches in the future.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    A departure from retail banking would mark a radical strategy shift at Deutsche Bank and has the potential to shake up Europe’s largest banking market.

  • Facts


    • Deutsche Bank is undergoing a strategy review that could lead to it splitting itself in two — an investment bank and a retail bank.
    • The bank is considering three scenarios for a major revamp and is expected to present its decision in the second quarter.
    • Germany, widely regarded as overbanked, is expected to see bank branch numbers cut over a third in the next 10 years.
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For years, closing branches was an alien concept to Deutsche Bank, Germany’s biggest commercial bank. When rival HypoVereinsbank said last year it would shut down 300 sites, Deutsche Bank remarked that it had no such plans. “On the contrary, we’re investing here,” an official said with a hint of pride.

Before Christmas, Rainer Neske, Deutsche Bank’s head of Private and Business Clients, was sounding more cautious. “Branches continue to play an important role but digitalisation does of course have an impact on our physical network,” he said. “The number of branches definitely won’t go up.”

The bank plans radical cutbacks in its retail banking operation as part of a new strategy the management is working on. Hundreds of the 750 domestic and 2,000 foreign branches will be affected, said officials with knowledge of the plans – regardless of which of the three scenarios currently being considered is chosen.

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