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Embattled Bank Offloads Portuguese Private Client Business

Josh O'Neill, Assistant Editor, 29 March 2018

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The deal is part of the bank's wider strategy to streamline its business to focus more on core markets.

Deutsche Bank will offload its Portuguese private and commercial banking business to ABANCA, adding to a string of divestments as Germany’s largest lender looks to “sharpen its focus and reduce complexity”.

The transaction, expected to close in the first half of next year, is part of ABANCA’s strategy to expand its footprint in Portugal while bolstering its private banking offering, it said. The Spanish lender has 640 branches and employs more than 4,600 staff. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

Deutsche Bank “remains firmly committed” to Portugal, it said, and will continue to offer corporate and investment banking services to Portuguese and international corporate clients, financial institutions and government agencies. 

In other markets, private banking “continues to be a core business area” for Deutsche Bank, it said. Last month, Deutsche Bank agreed to sell its banking and custody business in the Cayman Islands, Jersey and Guernsey to Butterfield. Last October, Butterfield also snapped up Deutsche Bank’s global trust solutions business.


Deutsche Bank's share price movements over the past three months. Source: Google. 

Last December, Deutsche Bank sold its Polish private and commercial banking business to Bank Zachodni.

The deals are all part of chief executive John Cryan’s strategy to streamline the business, focusing more on core markets while raising capital to help recover from a series of regulatory blows and scandals that have sent the bank’s share price sliding.

The lender has failed to turn a profit over the last three years, and media reports this week claim Deutsche Bank’s chairman, Paul Achleitner, has held talks with potential successors to Cryan as part of plans to replace him after coming under fire from shareholders dissatisfied with the firm’s progression. Deutsche declined to comment to this publication when asked about the matter.

Deutsche Bank did, however, successfully float its asset management business DWS on the Frankfurt stock exchange last week ahead of the two-year schedule set by Cryan in early 2017.

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