Deutsche Bank is embarking on a significant transformation in response to evolving customer preferences, and their plans involve closing nearly half of their Postbank branches by mid-2026. The bank intends to streamline the number of Postbank branches from the current 550 down to approximately 300. Claudio de Sanctis, the newly appointed head of private banking at Deutsche Bank, shared this plan in an interview with the Financial Times, indicating that Deutsche-branded branches will also undergo scaling back, although specific details weren’t disclosed.
Deutsche Bank’s journey with Postbank dates back to 2008 when they initiated the acquisition of the bank. Postbank, rooted in Germany’s postal system and serving millions of clients, presented integration challenges to Deutsche Bank, which persisted over the years. These difficulties culminated in recent complaints from clients who faced issues accessing their accounts and reaching customer service call centers after the Postbank integration. In response to these concerns, Germany’s top financial regulator appointed a supervisor to oversee how Deutsche Bank addresses the customer service problems stemming from the Postbank integration.
These branch closures are an essential part of Deutsche Bank’s strategy to meet the rising demand in its retail banking business for digital services. The objective is to transform Postbank into a “mobile-first” bank over the medium term. While approximately 100 of the Postbank locations will continue to provide customers with on-site advice, there will be a shift toward a new branch format focusing exclusively on banking services. Meanwhile, around 200 of the locations will maintain postal and parcel services alongside their banking offerings.
The transition involves multiple facets, and Deutsche Bank is committed to negotiating all measures with the relevant employee representatives. The final decisions on the specific number of closures and their locations will be determined through these discussions. This approach underscores the bank’s dedication to addressing these changes in a collaborative and inclusive manner.
The shift in Deutsche Bank’s strategy mirrors broader industry trends, where banks are increasingly focusing on digital banking solutions. With changing consumer habits and the growing popularity of online and mobile banking, financial institutions are looking to optimize their branch networks to align with these transformations. This includes investing in digital channels, enhancing mobile banking capabilities, and providing a more streamlined in-branch experience for those customers who prefer personal interactions.
Deutsche Bank’s decision to pivot toward a “mobile-first” approach is in line with these industry shifts, recognizing the importance of catering to customers’ changing preferences and digital banking expectations. As technology continues to reshape the financial landscape, institutions like Deutsche Bank are positioning themselves to remain competitive, efficient, and responsive to the evolving needs of their clientele.
In conclusion, Deutsche Bank’s plan to significantly reduce Postbank branches is part of a broader strategy to adapt to changing customer demands and evolving industry trends. By streamlining their branch network and emphasizing digital and mobile banking, the bank aims to remain competitive and provide a more tailored banking experience for its customers. This approach reflects the ongoing transformation in the banking sector as it embraces digital solutions and redefines the role of physical branches in the modern banking landscape.