Deutsche Bank Seeks Around 1,000 Retail HQ Job Cuts

(Bloomberg) -- Deutsche Bank AG wants to cut around 1,000 jobs at the headquarters of its retail division, according to people briefed on the matter.

That would be approximately one in five of the people working at its recently-merged German retail unit, split between Frankfurt and Bonn. Most of the cuts would aim to eliminate duplicate back-office and middle-office functions, the people said. They asked not to be identified as the information is private. The number has yet to be negotiated with the powerful workers’ councils.

Deutsche Bank Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing has promised to cut the bank’s total workforce by at least 7,000 between April, when he took over, and the end of next year. Sewing hasn’t yet detailed how the cuts will be spread across the bank’s three core divisions.

It’s not clear how many of the job cuts at the German retail headquarters would happen by the end of next year. The bank is bound by an agreement with unions not to fire retail unit staff against their will for business reasons before mid-2021. Any job cuts before that date would need to happen through voluntary channels such as early retirement schemes or severance pay.

The lion’s share of the cuts to date have happened in client-facing investment banking jobs and the focus is now shifting to so-called infrastructure jobs, including those at retail headquarters, the bank has said.

A spokeswoman for Deutsche Bank declined to comment.

Late last year, the retail division led by Frank Strauss introduced a voluntary redundancy program that was budgeted for 1,000 staff but was heavily oversubscribed, the people said. That suggests that the bank could cut more jobs if it’s willing to pay for it.

That program drove group restructuring costs to 408 million euros ($474 million) in the fourth quarter, the highest level in two years. Deutsche Bank has said it expects restructuring charges to hit about 800 million euros this year.

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