Tuesday, October 26, 2021
Jobs are also being lost
Postbank is canceling more branches than planned
Many banking transactions can now be done online, and branches are correspondingly less used. Deutsche Bank is therefore not only closing its own branches, but also those of the Postbank brand. And the branches that remain could look different in the future.
Because more and more customers do their business online, Deutsche Bank is cutting the branch network of its Postbank brand more closely than planned. By the end of 2023, the number of Postbank branches will drop from currently around 750 to around 550, said Deutsche Bank’s head of sales for the German private customer business, Philipp Gossow. This was agreed with the social partners and the business partner Deutsche Post. So far, the management had about 50 store closings a year in mind.
“We are mostly closing branches in cities, so that our customers still have a Postbank branch nearby,” said Gossow. For the 550 branches that will remain at the end of 2023, there will be a location guarantee until the end of 2024. With the cuts, more jobs will be lost. This mainly affects the employees at the counter, said Gossow. He did not want to comment on the extent of the job cuts. The reduction will be implemented in a socially acceptable manner. In addition, securities advice and the brokerage of installment loans are growth areas for Postbank. “We are continuing to build staff there.”
With the accelerated branch reduction, the institute is reacting to the changed behavior of customers. “Customers come to the branch less for everyday concerns,” said Gossow. “In the past, people went to the branch for a bank statement or a change of address. Today, many of our customers do this on the Internet or with the app.” The same applies to the services that Postbank continues to provide for its former parent company, Deutsche Post. “In addition, the Post is expanding its range of Packstations to complement the branches, parcels are also accepted by the DHL courier.”
Video advice is also possible
Postbank has already reduced its branch network in recent years. Around one in four of around 1,000 locations has been closed. But Gossow does not want to shake the legitimacy of bank branches. “For advice-intensive financial decisions, such as buying a home or investing large sums of money, customers are still looking for a personal conversation with the bank advisor.” Therefore, the branch remains important, as does a nationwide branch network.
However, the locations do not necessarily have to look like traditional bank branches. “Not every branch has to be in the best inner city location and have a self-service machine.” In the future, pure advice centers could consist of offices and advice rooms. “That is also much cheaper.” Postbank also wants to offer its customers video advice – similar to Deutsche Bank.
According to Gossow, the Postbank brand is out of the question. “The Deutsche Bank and Postbank brands will continue to exist side by side.” However, the group wants to save money, for example by accommodating branches of both brands in the same building. For example, a Deutsche Bank advisory center could be located on the first floor above a Postbank branch, said Gossow. The main brand also closes many locations. Of the previous 500 branches with the Deutsche Bank logo, around 400 should be left by the end of this year.