Deutsche Bank is to merge its wealth management units in Switzerland as it seeks to boost profitability through cost reductions.
The bank will integrate Swiss Sal Oppenheim into Deutsche Bank (Switzerland) by the end of 2013, subject to regulatory approval, the bank said.
Any necessary staff reductions “will be communicated at an early stage and implemented in a considerate manner,” it said.
"Deutsche Bank is bundling its business activities with high net worth private clients and institutional clients in Switzerland under the umbrella of Deutsche Bank (Switzerland). Subject to approval by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), Bank Sal Oppenheim jr & Cie (Switzerland) will be fully integrated into Deutsche Bank (Switzerland)," the bank said in a statement.
Deutsche Bank, which is cutting jobs across its business, is looking to make wider margins on its wealth and asset management operations due to tougher capital requirements and other rising costs.
The changes may also be a sign of how the Swiss banking and wealth management model continues to face headwinds at a time when bank secrecy laws in the Alpine state, for example, have come under international assault.
“The difficult market environment is driving a consolidation process in the industry worldwide,” Marco Bizzozero, who heads Deutsche Bank’s Swiss unit, said. “Efficient structures and offerings consistently geared to the needs of clients will be more important than ever for a successful bank model.”
Sal Oppenheim Switzerland lacks “critical mass,” said Bizzozero, who is also head of wealth management for Deutsche Bank in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, excluding Germany.
Deutsche Bank said it will cease to use the brand of its Swiss Sal Oppenheim unit. The wealth manager’s business outside Switzerland, based in Cologne and covering Germany, Austria and Luxembourg, won’t be affected, the bank said.