Deutsche Bank workers at its Postbank subsidiary voted to strike yesterday, as they demand employment protection amid a potential sale.
A total of 94.8 per cent of the members of the Verdi union voted to strike indefinitely. To date, strikes have already closed 670 branches for as many as four days each. The union said the next indefinite strike would have a more “pronounced” effect. The firm looks set to sell the retail bank subsidiary Postbank but keep a pared back own-brand retail business.
The choice to keep most retail operations and offload only Postbank, which Deutsche bought in steps for about €6bn (£4.3bn) starting in 2008, is a concession to credit rating agencies concerned a complete retail exit would raise Deutsche’s risk profile and cost of funding, sources told Reuters.
Only two management board members support dumping all retail activities, with the other six favouring just selling Postman. The bank will decide on the hotly-debated overhaul as soon as next week, the sources added.
However, Deutsche Bank has denied that a decision on selling Postbank has been made and said it is still “considering a number of options as part of its ongoing strategy review process”.
Deutsche is looking to overhaul its business after falling short of its return-on-equity targets and suffering a string of regulatory fines and legal challenges. Selling Postbank will raise capital and take the firm partially out of the competitive German retail bank sector.