250 branches affected
Deutsche Bank is closing almost every second Postbank branch
October 30, 2023, 4:03 p.m
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Deutsche Bank is taking radical measures at Postbank. Hundreds of branches will be closed over the next three years. The cooperation with the post office is being cut back. In the medium term, online offerings will be the focus. On-site advice will be the exception.
Deutsche Bank wants to drastically thin out its network of 550 Postbank branches. Private customer boss Claudio de Sanctis announced in the “Financial Times” (FT) that 250 locations would be closed by mid-2026. Many branches have been unprofitable for a long time, but could not be given up because of a long-term contract with Deutsche Post, the previous owner of Postbank. The contract has now been renegotiated. The network of Deutsche Bank branches should also be further trimmed, said de Sanctis, without giving exact figures.
Parcels can also be dropped off and stamps purchased at Postbank branches. The bank confirmed that this will no longer be possible in 100 of the remaining locations in the future. Employees there should only offer banking services. The post office wants to look for its own locations nearby.
The branches will also serve as technology centers in the future, de Sanctis told the FT. “They need to become the place where you go for advice, but also where you go when you have problems with your app, and we need to be outstanding in finding solutions to those.”
Goal: Savings greater than investments
Postbank is to be developed into a “mobile-first” bank in the medium term, said a Deutsche Bank spokesman. On-site advice will play a smaller role in the future. De Sanctis did not want to say whether and how many jobs would be lost as a result of the branch closures. The spokesman explained that exact numbers and locations will soon be negotiated with employee representatives. De Sanctis hopes that the renovation will result in “very significant savings that will exceed the investments we have to make,” as he told the FT.
The chaos surrounding the migration of the data of twelve million Postbank customers to Deutsche Bank’s IT systems recently brought the financial regulator BAFIN onto the scene. She had sent a special representative to the bank to ensure that customer service was up and running again quickly. Customers were temporarily unable to access their accounts.
De Sanctis reiterated that the problems should be resolved by the end of the year and that the bank had already made “significant progress”. The experiences made it even clearer how urgent it is to have digital processes and services that meet customer expectations.