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Credit Suisse sells German private banking arm to Bethmann Bank

Credit Suisse has announced it is selling its German private banking arm to Bethmann Bank, which is based in Frankfurt.

The bidding for the banking service serving wealthy customers in Germany was fierce and it appears Bethmann Bank beat Munich-based rival Merck Finck & Co to the acquisition.

Germany is Europe's largest market for asset management, but tough price competition can make it difficult to compete profitably.

According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper, Bethmann is set to take over 9,000 private clients and $13.6 billion in assets from Credit Suisse.

A statement from Credit Suisse said the organisation "remains highly committed to the German wealth management market", before adding that German clients will be booked on the bank's other platforms, such as Switzerland and Luxembourg.

A source close to Credit Suisse told Reuters in June that the Swiss bank was mulling a sale as part of its effort to boost profits by focusing on extremely wealthy customers rather than a larger "mass affluent" client base.

By Claire Archer