Private and business clients

Creating customer value

In brief

  • Client satisfaction is an important performance indicator
  • Investing € 200 million in expanding digital offerings
  • One in every seven mortgages in Germany provided by Deutsche Bank

Our private and business client network, operating from 2,700 locations in seven countries, serves the banking needs of private individuals and smaller as well as mid-sized businesses. As a major element of our FairShare™ (FairShare) principle, we place clients at the core of our business and client satisfaction is an important performance indicator for our advisors.

We are responding to rapid shifts in consumer behavior, driven by technological developments and societal trends. To improve our services for clients, we are investing € 200 million in digital innovation over the next three years. We also continue to invest in customer research to understand the needs of our clients better and to improve our products.

€ 7 billion

increase in net new assets

With interest rates remaining low, our clients demand comprehensive and competitive mortgage and loan offerings. We satisfied this demand with market leading financing solutions. Also, our clients are looking for attractive investment opportunities. Our award-winning advisory services, investment and insurance product portfolio, and deposit campaigns in the second half of 2014 helped us to meet this demand. As a result, we achieved:

  • Large inflows in brokerage accounts: € 10 billion increase in assets under management, of which € 7 billion are net new assets
  • Very good results in our insurance business: More than € 4 billion of premiums collected. Thereof more than € 700 million in corporate pension and € 800 million in single premium
  • A positive response to our deposit gathering campaigns, with attractive interest rates for new deposits: € 7 billion in new deposits, including Postbank
  • Strong growth in credit products, especially in mortgages, where we made more than 160,000 home loans

Creating value for clients

FairShare principle

embedded in retail and business banking

We place our clients at the core of our organization. This is a central tenet of the FairShare principle, which has been embedded in our retail and business banking operations since 2009.

As part of FairShare, a Product Code and our Product Principles commit us to create long-term value through products that are transparent, part of the real economy and beneficial to individuals. All new products are subject to an enhanced product approval process and existing products are reviewed regularly to ensure compliance with the Principles.

Certain exclusions also apply. In line with our Product Code and Product Principles, and Deutsche Bank’s overall approach to reputational risks, we will not advise on or offer products directly connected with:

  • Wagers on death, illness, invalidity or insolvency
  • Production and sale of nuclear weapons, cluster munitions or land mines
  • Speculation on commodity scarcity
  • Encouragement or use of child labor
  • Criminal activities, including illegal drugs and money laundering
  • Human rights violations

The Responsible Banking Committee (RBC) of senior executives has supervised compliance with these Principles since 2012. In 2014, we strengthened governance by integrating the RBC into the Group Internal Control Committee, a senior management group which deals with all matters of risk, reputational and control.

Some of our products and services specifically support Deutsche Bank’s commitment to advocating a low-carbon economy. In all our European operations, we provide financing for energy-efficient buildings, renewable energy, investments in technology and research that supports CO2 reductions. In 2014, we made € 304 million in funding for energy efficient construction and renovation as part of KfW environmental programs available to private and business clients in Germany. Additionally, we sell sustainable investment funds through our network of branches in Europe.

Focusing on client needs

Taking a long-term approach aligned with client needs, we have established the role of a Chief Client Officer (CCO) in 2009. He acts as a customer advocate in retail banking at management level, advising senior management on potential issues clients may face. Customer satisfaction, retention and the FairShare principle are his key areas of focus; he has no responsibility for sales or financial returns. Close contact with consumer organizations and the media provides insights that inform action on customer satisfaction.

The CCO is involved in the development and amendment of products and processes and has the power of veto in deciding whether:

  • The benefit of new products to the customer is clear
  • Products and processes function correctly
  • Advisors have the skill to advise customers on a particular product or need additional training
  • Clear and easily understood product documentation is available, such as a product information sheet

Offering tailor-made advisory solutions

Deutsche Bank aims to offer to each client tailor-made advisory solutions with financial products that fit their individual situation and position in the financial life cycle. That is achieved through:

  • Client segmentation within private and commercial banking, ensuring that we understand the financial needs of each type of customer
  • Providing a dedicated personal advisor to advise each client throughout their lives, who is trained to understand the financial needs of specific customer segments in each stage of life and to provide prudent advice on financing, investing, saving, insuring and provisioning
  • Supporting advisors through dedicated product specialists who can adjust financial products to individual customer needs

This three-pronged approach, combined with our international expertise, is at the core of Deutsche Bank’s “Hausbankprinzip” for all private and commercial clients.

Researching customer satisfaction

Client satisfaction is an important performance indicator and firmly anchored in our retail business model. We therefore invest in extensive customer research.


retail clients participated in client satisfaction survey

Approximately 360,000 retail clients in Germany participated in our 2014 client satisfaction survey. The responses provide detailed feedback on how clients perceive our advice and services, how they evaluate the range of services on offer at our branches and whether they would recommend Deutsche Bank to a friend or relative. The survey is not anonymous so our advisors can act on praise and criticism more effectively and contact clients directly to continue the dialog.

Despite the difficult market situation, the client satisfaction index increased from 68.4 % in January to 71.2 % in December 2014.

Client satisfaction index

In %



Previous years are not comparable as the methodology has changed.

Client satisfaction index


Client satisfaction with our advice


Client satisfaction with our services


Client satisfaction with actively offered products and services


Willingness to recommend Deutsche Bank


We used mystery shoppers to make around 2,800 purchases in 2014 and conducted 9,300 telephone calls to clients following an advisory meeting to assess compliance with our advice and service standards. The standards aim to ensure we build client relationships by continually delivering a high-quality customer experience. This includes adhering to regulatory requirements, providing error-free product and service documentation and customized product recommendations, as well as offering a friendly welcome.


telephone calls to clients to ensure compliance with advice and service standards

The results of mystery shopping and telephone calls are combined in our mystery shopping index. The index was 78.4 % in 2014. In 2014 we changed our methodology to increase the focus on existing clients.

The results of the client satisfaction survey and mystery shopping influence the objectives for our branches. Additionally, both are linked to the performance-related component of remuneration for our sales staff.

Handling complaints

Improving customer satisfaction also depends on listening to complaints, so it is important that customers feel able to approach us. The central complaint management team reports directly to the Chief Client Officer, whose role in reviewing new processes is intended to prevent complaints from arising in the first place. Advisory topics and new investment products, in particular, are scrutinized closely to improve future quality and satisfaction.

When we recognize mistakes, we work to solve cases quickly without excess bureaucracy. However, we will defend our position where we are not able to substantiate a complaint or identify any damage to clients. From 2015, we follow a new process to ensure we confirm receipt of a complaint promptly, identify a personal contact in Deutsche Bank who will deal with it, and give an expected processing time.

In 2014, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) ruled that credit institutions are not allowed to charge credit processing fees within standardized consumer credit agreements. Clients may claim refunds for transactions dating back to 2004. All clients who claim refunds will receive an interlocutory notice and we aim to pay out justified refunds in short order.

We have a Hardship Cases Commission for special cases when a complaint involves hardship for the client. Senior complaint managers alert the Commission and the client is contacted personally by one of our advisors to resolve any issues. We pay particular attention to clients who contact us after finding themselves in urgent situations through no fault of their own. Complaint Management found an appropriate solution for our clients’ needs in all seven hardship cases in 2014.

Protecting consumers

In line with FairShare, we aim to promote products that offer solutions customized to clients’ needs. We only recommend products and services that are comprehensible and have clear benefits for the client. Information and marketing materials must be easily understood and provide all relevant information, including costs and prices.

We analyze clients’ financial situation before granting loans or approving lines of credit to ensure that the duration of the loan is appropriate to the financing purpose and the client’s financial circumstances. Our employees must be sure that clients understand the characteristics, functions and risks inherent to a product.

In addition to our exclusion criteria, some products are not available to certain client groups. For example, products with long-term or limited tradability will not be actively sold to people over the age of 70. To prevent conflicting objectives between customer value and revenue generation, our advisors do not receive commission on individual business transactions.

As a responsible lender across the life-cycle of a loan, we aim to work with customers in financial difficulties to avoid cancellation. Only the unpaid installments are due before an account is cancelled and enters the legal process, not the total loan amount. Our objective is to maintain the relationship, bring customers back to a current status and support them through temporary payment problems using deferrals, interest-only periods, debt restructuring and, in certain circumstances, debt waivers.

Meeting client needs with new technology

Digital media is changing people’s behavior. Banking products are increasingly purchased online, and half of our retail clients are already “going digital” in their interactions with Deutsche Bank. Rapid advances in technology and changes in communication and networking patterns impact our business significantly, providing an opportunity to demonstrate innovation and attract young customers.

€ 200 million

allocated for digitalization

We responded to client needs in the field of digitalization in 2014 with new services as part of a € 200 million investment program. Several projects in digital communication, advice and banking respond to changes in the way clients interact with Deutsche Bank.

For example, the photoTAN app enables significantly faster authorization of client transactions in online and mobile banking and increases security for clients. Using the My Bank mobile app, clients can use photoTAN to transfer funds with a mobile device in just three clicks.

Touch ID also speeds up mobile banking and increases security. Clients with the My Bank mobile banking app use fingerprint login instead of entering their branch number, account number and PIN to log in. Touch ID is disabled if the device is lost and the PIN is not stored on the device.

Other developments include:

  • Digital mailbox extension: Clients can access their digital mailbox via mobile banking and view important documents at any time, including account documents, securities and credit card transaction statements.
  • Financial planner: An online budgeting service in Deutsche Bank OnlineBanking. This service gives customers a clear overview of their spending so they are better informed when making financial decisions. It includes automatic categorization of spending, graphics and personalized analysis.
  • Services with push notifications: Clients can configure the service to receive customized notifications, including exceeding an overdraft, maturing securities, changes in personal interest rates and status updates when sending a credit card.

These achievements come at a time when we have to respond to new legislation which has impacted not only our cost base, but put additional pressure on our internal quality controls. Our customers expect innovation that meets high security standards. Through our NPA process and weekly meetings with control functions we ensure timely and high quality products and services that conform to all regulatory and IT standards.

Making banking accessible

All ATM and banking terminals have braille

All ATM and banking terminals have braille (bar chart)

Since 1995, Deutsche Bank has strongly supported the Ein Girokonto für Jedermann initiative to make a current account available to everyone, regardless of financial status. The principles of this initiative are explicitly stated in our account opening guidelines. We already meet most of the standards of the EU Directive on the comparability of fees related to payment accounts, payment account switching and access to payment accounts with basic features. (See Corporate citizenship)

We also offer products and services tailored to the specific needs of particular customer groups. For example, we have equipped new ATMs in Germany with headphone jacks for a voice menu and lettering in braille to enable access for people with visual impairments. As we remodel branches worldwide, we aim to improve access for people with disabilities through measures such as eliminating steps, adjusting the width of doors and creating more maneuvering space for wheelchair users.


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