Exclusive Deutsche Bank Aims to Avoid Forced Redundancies in Restructuring, May Introduce Fees

In carrying out its restructuring and cutting back 4,000 jobs, Deutsche Bank aims to reach fair settlements with its employees, board member Christian Sewing told Handelsblatt. Mr. Sewing, who is responsible for retail customers, said this is how Germany’s largest bank had carried out restructuring in the past. “I’m sure we’ll be able to manage it this way again,” he said. Frank Bsirske, who heads the trade union Verdi also recently told Handelsblatt that he was optimistic that the bank could avoid forced redundancies. Mr. Sewing also said that Deutsche Bank would scale back its property loans business. “Construction loans are an important product but we’re no longer aiming to achieve the high growth rates we had in the past.” The bank will give mortgages to customers with whom it is likely to do other kinds of business too, he said. “Otherwise it’s hard to justify, if it’s the only product a customer wants, given the low margins and strict capital regulations.” Mr. Sewing said he thought it was unlikely that banks would pass the negative interest rates set by the European Central Bank onto retail customers. “I can’t imagine the broad mass of retail customers would face these charges,” he said. Asked whether Deutsche is considering a deposit fee, Mr. Sewing said, “We’re taking a broader look at the right pricing system.” That’s why the bank feels justified that other banks are also no longer offering free bank accounts. “Mainly we want to reach a new balance in our business, more towards investment advice,” Mr. Sewing said. Mr. Sewing called the troubles that the Deutsche Bank share faced at the start of the year “exaggerated,” and said this turbulence hadn’t caused the bank’s customers to lose trust in the institution. “Our deposit volumes remain stable,” he said.   Read the full story in Tuesday’s Handelsblatt Global Edition at 12:00 Central European Time.