December 20, 2014 / 12:23 PM / 5 years ago

Deutsche Bank co-CEO cagey on Postbank future - Welt am Sonntag

Juergen Fitschen, co-CEO of Deutsche Bank AG, speaks during a shareholders meeting in Frankfurt May 22, 2014. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank’s (DBKGn.DE) co-chief executive Juergen Fitschen said consolidation of the European retail banking market was overdue, according to German weekly Welt am Sonntag.

He would not commit on whether that meant Germany’s biggest lender could sell its retail unit Postbank DPBGn.DE,

Germany’s Manager Magazin had reported this week that Deutsche was considering a possible Postbank sale. Two people close to the bank’s strategic thinking, who declined to be named, confirmed it was mulling the sale of the retail network.

But Fitschen told Welt am Sonntag that management’s focus for now was on completing strategic plan “2015+” before reviewing their strategic targets next year, according to an advance copy of an interview to be published on Sunday.

“We will see then what the future strategy will mean for individual business areas, including our retail banking business,” Fitschen said.

He said European retail banks would need to consolidate to compete with rivals in the United States and Britain but would not say whether Deutsche Bank planned to play an active role by buying a retail rival abroad or selling Postbank.

“We cannot be a global universal bank if we give up our ambitions of having a retail bank. But everything has to pass the test of economics. The business model has to serve the interests of customers, but also of shareholders,” he said.

Reporting by Maria Sheahan, editing by William Hardy

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