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Deutsche Trims Corporate Banking Business

Deutsche Bank is trimming its corporate services through a sale of its corporate banking business in Portugal, reports said Wednesday (March 28).

Reports in Nasdaq said Deutsche Bank will divest its Private & Commecial Banking unit to ABANCA Corporación Bancaria. Financial terms of the sale were not disclosed, though reports said the deal is slated to close in the first half of 2019.

Deutsche is looking to control costs and streamline its business, reports noted, though the financial institution noted it will continue to serve its customers in Portugal via its Corporate & Investment Banking unit.

ABANCA, based in Spain, focuses on small- and medium-sized business banking services in Portugal, according to reports, and said the takeover is part of its own effort to expand in the country.

Amid the sale, Deutsche is also in the process of finding new leadership to replace current CEO John Cryan. The publication noted investor confidence is waning, exacerbated by financial losses for 2017 reported by the bank. Separate reports in The Times said Cryan and Deutsche Bank Chief Financial Officer James von Moltke were pressured by board members to ignite a more aggressive restructuring plan.

Nasdaq said Deutsche’s shares on the NYSE have declined 21 percent in the past year, while industry growth sat at 8.9 percent during that time.

Last year at a banking conference in Germany, Cryan discussed market competition, noting that the financial institution is more concerned with alternative FinTech disruptors than it is with industry peers.

“Probably the most interesting thing, certainly the one on which we spend most time, would be: Can we be competitive against companies that are not banks? Can we, for example, be competitive in payments versus companies that purport to make payments but are not regulated in the art of making payments?” he said at the time, according to CNBC reports.

Deutsche Bank shrunk significantly in 2015 when it announced it would shutter its retail banking operations and depart seven of the 70 countries in which it operated.

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