DZ BANK AG: Business gets off to a good start in the first quarter of 2009

– Programme 2011: Further development of business activities as a Central Institution focused on the Cooperative Financial Services Network – Start of market initiative

There was a pleasing trend in earnings in particular in the operating business, up almost 20% on the prior-year quarter: “We recorded the best start to the year in the own account business with local cooperative banks in the first three months of the 2009 financial year. The joint credit business also got off to a good start and in the certificates market we took over market leadership with our AKZENT Invest brand” says Wolfgang Kirsch, Chief Executive Officer of DZ BANK AG.

“The trend in the economy and on the capital markets is not yet showing any lasting signs of the situation easing. On the contrary: business conditions are still characterised by major volatility. We therefore have to continue to anticipate a strong headwind and protect ourselves accordingly”, says Kirsch. ”However, we can also say that our operating business is well underway. Our orientation as a Central Institution with focus on the Cooperative Financial Services Network, strict cost discipline as well as our capital measures will help us to maintain our course in these challenging times and sharpen the profile of the Cooperative Financial Services Network with its customers“, he continued. The measures announced to strengthen capital are being implemented according to plan. The subscription period for the announced Tier 1 issue has been underway since 14 April.

Central Institution with focus on the Cooperative Financial Services Network – Programme 2011

The Board of Managing Directors and Supervisory Board approved the “Programme 2011“ at the Supervisory Board meeting on 27 April. The aim of this programme is the consistent orientation of the Bank as a Central Institution with focus on the Cooperative Financial Services Network. Growth opportunities are to be realised for the Cooperative Financial Services Network in the core business segments SME business, Private Banking and Transaction Banking through market initiatives together with the local cooperative banks. These measures will be supported by the reduction of complementary business activities, the reduction of complexity and costs and the further development of the governance structures of the DZ BANK Group.

In the SME business as a core business segment for the Cooperative Financial Services Network, DZ BANK will expand its customer support capacity and make it more decentralised, i.e. regional anchoring. In future there will be a fixed contact person for each primary bank, also in the back office. Alongside stronger cross-selling, risk-weighted assets are to be transferred on a targeted basis from other business segments to the SME business.

In order to further exploit the market potential in Private Banking, DZ BANK will bundle its Private Banking activities in Switzerland, Luxembourg and Singapore and therefore establish its own Private Banking segment. This will support the cooperative banks on a subsidiary basis with a tailor-made offering from 2010 on.

Finally, Transaction Banking is to be expanded into a core business segment. DZ BANK is represented in the market here with providers such as Equens, dwp bank, Kreditwerk and Cardprocess. Sales are to be intensified by separating settlement and sales functions as well as by opening up new distribution channels and stronger regional anchoring. Cost synergies are also to be realised more consistently.

These market initiatives will be supported by the reduction of other complementary business activities which are not directly geared towards to the Cooperative Financial Services Network. For example, risk-weighted assets are to be reduced further in the Structured Finance and Major Customers business. This involves the examination of locations abroad.

Within the scope of focusing the business model DZ BANK plans to reduce non-staff costs and personnel expenses by EUR 110 - 130 million p.a., with non-staff costs and personnel expenses each accounting for roughly half of this figure. Subject to compliance with codetermination rights of the Employees’ Council, this will be associated with around 450 full-time jobs cuts by the end of 2011.

In early and rapid negotiations the employer and Staff Council have already reached joint agreement on a reconciliation of interests. The agreement envisages substantial economic provision for the employees concerned. This is intended to make it possible to reduce the headcount by 2011 to a large extent without the need for terminations of employment for operational reasons.

“We have thus been able to identify solutions jointly with the staff representatives at an early stage. On the one hand, this allows the bank to initiate the necessary change-processes fast while still being able to take account of the employees’ interests on the other hand “, said Kirsch following a joint information event held by the Board of Managing Directors and the Central Staff Representatives Council of DZ BANK AG.

DZ Bank AG acts as a Central Institution for around 1000 local cooperative banks in Germany and has some 4,000 employees. Alongside the Central Institution the DZ BANK Group also comprises the subsidiaries R+V, Schwäbisch Hall, teambank, Union Investment and VR Leasing with over 26,000 employees.


Martin Roth, Head of Communication & Marketing Division
Tel.: +49 69 7447-42750

Ilja-Kristin Seewald, Head of Press, Internal Communication and Public Affairs Department
Tel.: +49 69 7447-42894