Walker, M. (October 23, 2000). Deutsche Bank Plans to Make Its Retail Unit A Stock Outlet. The Wall Street Journal (pg A29-30)
This article is about Deutsche Bank AG tried to sell its retail business in order to concentrate on corporate and investment banking six month ago and it is now working on a plan to change its retail unit into a pan-European outlet for stocks, mutual funds and other investment products.
Today, top executives of the world’s largest bank by assets, Deutsche Bank, are going to present their new ideas to their supervisory board. The board planned to consider the management proposals earlier this year before big steps were taken.
The bank’s powerful investment-banking division Global Corporates & Institutions encourages the new idea. GCI oversees the retail network as a distribution channel to the growing class of wealthy Europeans who are changing their savings into stocks and investment funds.
Mr. Breuer had been told to rethink his previous plan to sell a majority stake in Deutsche Bank 24 by the supervisory board. The bank’s top investment bankers believe that retaining the retail business and focusing its efforts on selling investment products is profitable than traditional banking services. In addition, Michael Philipp, the manager of the Deutsche Bank’s asset-management division, is also pushing the retail restoring to increase the sales of fund-management unit DWS, Europe’s biggest mutual-fund company.
These plans aren’t limited with only Deutsche Bank 24, it is also for the group’s private-banking unit, serving high net-worth clients because of its aggressive expansion as a European sales channel for the GCI and asset-management units. Deutsche Bank also plans to win retail customers in the United States. It was that was followed a bid for National Discount Brokers Group Inc. earlier this month. It is up to the supervisory board’s decision to accept the plan in order to keep the retail bank. On the other hand, they can oppose a strong shift away from basic retail banking.
In today’s meeting, there may be an understanding that leaves Deutsche Bank still well established in traditional domestic retail banking, as well as the retail investment services that stimulate its GCI bankers.
Deutsche Bank had budgeted $109.3 million to build up Deutsche Bank 24 in Europe in August that includes redesigning branches abroad, merging information technology and marketing the new business. Management consultants have expected that it would cost about 300 million euros to achieve credit across Europe in marketing.
Deutsche Bank has 1.2 million retail customers in Italy and 600,000 in Spain outside Germany, but there is a small retail attendance in France and there is none in the United Kingdom.
In my opinion, Deutsche Bank hasn’t created a plan to achieve its aim to lead retail network in Europe. Potential partners and achievements remain unidentified, while the supervisory board didn’t learn how much the expansion strategy would cost.
Deutsche Bank hopes to attract wealthy middle-class customers in Western Europe who will be interested in buying into its investment-banking division, called Global Corporate and Institutions.
To sum up, Deutsche Bank already has traditional retail branches in six countries outside Germany such as Italy, Spain, Belgium, Portugal, Poland and France and plans to use these as a base for expansion by organic growth, partnerships and possible acquisitions. The U.K. is another market where Deutsche Bank is also evaluating its best options for gaining retail distribution.