Consumers: Better service planned for Postbank customers

Consumers: Better service planned for Postbank customers

The mountain of complaints at Postbank was processed after a delay. Deutsche Bank is aware that the issue is not over.

Deutsche Bank is making progress in working through the problems at Postbank, but has not yet reached its goal when it comes to service quality. “As recently announced, by the end of March we will have overcome the backlog in customer-critical processes, which were also the subject of Bafin’s orders, and are continuing to work on improvements,” said a spokesman for Deutsche Bank to the German Press Agency in Frankfurt.

“At the same time, we recognize that we continue to have work to do to further improve our customer service and processes in the coming months.” This includes, among other things, automating processes “to ensure that processing times in all areas consistently meet expectations and requirements,” explained the Deutsche Bank spokesman.

Financial regulators monitor progress

In connection with an IT change, Postbank received an increasing number of complaints from customers last year who were temporarily no longer able to access accounts or complained about delays in building financing. There was also trouble with seizure protection accounts, where indebted people can protect certain assets from seizure so that they have money available for rent and electricity, food and medication, for example.

In September, those responsible at the financial regulator Bafin lost their patience: Since the turn of the year 2022/2023, “significant impairments in the processing of customer business at Postbank” have been observed, the authority complained and called on the bank to “remedy the restrictions in customer service as quickly as possible “. Since then, a special representative has been monitoring progress on behalf of the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (Bafin).

Bank took longer to resolve the issues

At the end of December, Deutsche Bank admitted that – contrary to what CEO Christian Sewing had promised in the autumn – not all problems would be resolved by the end of 2023 and that the bank would still have to deal with them in the first few months of 2024.

When presenting the balance sheet on February 1st, Sewing said that he assumed that the teams “in the customer-relevant processes (…) will have completed the processes and the missing things that we have not yet cleaned up in the first quarter of 2024.” .

According to information at the time, the chaos at Postbank, which belongs to the group, had cost Germany’s largest financial institution 40 million euros to date – not to mention the damage to its image. At the beginning of February, Sewing apologized again for the breakdowns: “We disappointed Postbank’s customers, we didn’t provide good service.”

Offer is being further thinned out

However, times are not getting any easier for Postbank customers: Deutsche Bank wants to close up to 250 of the 550 Postbank branches by mid-2026 and also cut staff. This is causing controversy in the current collective bargaining round and is repeatedly causing warning strikes: The Verdi union is pushing for jobs to be secured in the long term by extending protection against dismissal until December 31, 2028. So far, Deutsche Bank has promised that it will not lay off employees for operational reasons in its private customer bank in Germany until the end of September 2024.

The offer is gradually being thinned out: Postbank financial services, such as issuing cash, will only be available in postal partner branches until the end of 2025. The bank has “been observing for some time that customers are increasingly carrying out their banking transactions online and the proportion of cashless payments is increasing,” explained Deutsche Bank.

Therefore, there is less demand for banking services in Deutsche Post’s partner branches. The austerity measure will affect around 1,800 stationery stores and other retailers. This means that from 2026 there will no longer be any Swiss Post partner shops offering Postbank financial services.

Source: Stern

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