Banking Consolidation

Postbank Will Remain Only as Brand, Sources Say

Deutsche Bank – Postbank
Behind the sleek logos lies a troubled relationship. Source: DPA

Postbank will be absorbed into parent Deutsche Bank in two stages, beginning with a three-year integration of its IT systems, according to WirtschaftsWoche. Postbank will announce the first details of its integration in the weeks ahead, said the magazine, a sister publication of Handelsblatt.

Under the restructuring plans, only the Postbank brand will remain of this still largely independent subsidiary. In the first three years, Postbank’s IT operations will be combined with Deutsche’s, to be followed by a “complete realignment” of its remaining activities and services, WirtschaftsWoche said.

After initial plans to keep Postbank separate were cancelled, a small team has been working on the integration plan, including Deutsche Bank board member and retail banking chief Christian Sewing and Postbank boss Frank Strauss, who now has a seat on Deutsche’s board, the magazine said. Strauss’ elevation to top management, the sources said, was a “clear signal” that Deutsche still considers its retail business important.

Skepticism about the plans runs deep, especially at the Postbank, according to the magazine. Many employees do not understand how this consolidation would work, as the melding of different IT systems and corporate cultures seems too complex, and the future profile of the two brands (Postbank and Deutsche Bank) is unclear, the sources.

The plans would not only consolidate both banks, but also strengthen their presence on the home market, Jan Duscheck, a member of Deutsche Bank’s supervisory board for the Verdi trade union, was quoted as saying. Deutsche Bank’s boss John Cryan has already announced job cuts and branch closures at Postbank. Some employees fear that many thousands of posts will go, amid talk about an imminent “bloodbath,” the sources said.

 

Cornelius Welp covered this story for WirtschaftsWoche. Jeremy Gray adapted the text for Handelsblatt Global. To contact the author: cornelius.welp@wiwo.de

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