FRANKFURT Deutsche Bank(DBKGn.DE) wants to grow pretax profit from foreign retail branches to almost 1 billion euros by 2015, looking to emerging markets growth to offset mature markets nearer home.
"A stagnating (European) population threatens growth opportunities in the long run. That is why retail business in emerging markets is of great significance," Rainer Neske, head of private and business clients, told Reuters on Friday.
In total, Germany's biggest lender is aiming for 3 billion euros profit from retail banking by 2015, Neske said. In the first nine months of 2012, the private and business clients division made a pretax profit of 1.3 billion euros.
Since 2007, Deutsche Bank has increased the number of clients it has in Belgium, Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Spain by a quarter to 5 million, while doubling customer deposits and raising loan volumes by a third.
Deutsche Bank has also built a retail business in China and India. "Cooperation with Hua Xia is developing well," Neske said, referring to its Chinese partner.
After a buying spree which saw it acquire Berliner Bank, Deutsche Postbank (DPBGn.DE), Norisbank and a 19.9 percent stake in Chinese group Hua Xia Bank (600015.SS), Deutsche Bank will focus on integrating those businesses rather than buying more.
"We are only talking about organic growth," Neske said.
Neske said he has not been tempted to buy retail branch offices put up for sale by rivals in southern Europe.
"I see this as a cleansing of the market," he said, adding the effort needed to integrate different branch networks rarely justified the price asked for them.
Margins on retail loans in some overseas markets have been improving for Deutsche Bank as competitors pull back to meet new capital requirements.
"Many clients are happy to get a loan at all," Neske said.
At home, Deutsche Bank has changed its emphasis to focus on what clients themselves earn, as well as measuring revenue growth for the bank itself.
"The crisis of trust is not just a phase which lasts two or three years. Client attitudes have changed fundamentally. The times of blind trust have forever disappeared," Neske said.
Neske said he did not expect a dramatic expansion of the banks' German retail branch network. Deutsche Bank has been consolidating its existing branch network and back-office operations with those of Norisbank and Postbank, shedding thousands of jobs.
Deutsche Bank is not aiming to maintain a balance between the sizes of its divisions, which also include asset and wealth management and investment banking, Neske said.
"We want each of the divisions to develop. But there is no strategic target for business balance," Neske said. (Reporting by Philipp Halstrick, Kathrin Jones, Andreas Kroener, Arno Schuetze and Edward Taylor; Editing by Dan Lalor)
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