Deutsche Bank to cut 18,000 small Dutch clients

Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:27am EDT
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AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE: Quote) is dumping most of its accounts with small businesses in the Netherlands, reversing an expansion drive of recent years to cut losses and focus on big companies.

The decision follows a restructuring announced by Germany's biggest business lender in September, including job cuts and asset sales, as part of moves to meet tougher capital rules.

Many of the affected customers are one-person or family businesses, such as hairdressing salons, home-based online companies, cafes, and farms with typical annual turnover of less than 1 million euros.

A similar move by Deutsche to drop less wealthy clients in Germany a few years ago provoked uproar and complaints from clients who said they felt like "second-class" customers.

The attempt to push account holders into a separate affiliate was later reversed.

"In the next few months, we will contact the customers for whom Deutsche Bank Nederland NV is no longer the suitable bank to discuss the transfer to a different bank," Deutsche Bank said in a statement on Thursday.

The roughly 2,000 retail customers and 16,000 small businesses - or about 70 percent of its total customers in the Netherlands - are former ABN AMRO ABNNV.UL clients who were transferred to Deutsche Bank when it bought some ABN operations in 2010, and do not generate profit for the bank.

Deutsche said it did not plan to take similar steps in other countries.

ABN AMRO, which was nationalized during the 2008 financial crisis, said it would be happy to take back any customers.   Continued...

The logo of Germany's largest business bank, Deutsche Bank, is seen at the bank's headquarters behind twigs in Frankfurt January 31, 2012. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach