Credit Suisse sells German private bank business: sources

FRANKFURT Wed Dec 4, 2013 5:49pm EST

The logo of Swiss bank Credit Suisse is seen in front of a branch office in Zurich November 21, 2013. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

The logo of Swiss bank Credit Suisse is seen in front of a branch office in Zurich November 21, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Credit Suisse (CSGN.VX) is selling its business serving wealthy customers in Germany to Frankfurt-based Bethmann Bank, sources familiar with the transaction told Reuters on Wednesday.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper also reported that Bethmann was set to win the bidding for the private customers business, beating out Munich-based rival Merck Finck & Co.

The paper, which did not cite sources for its report, said Bethmann would take over 9,000 private clients with 10 billion euros ($13.6 billion) in assets from Credit Suisse in Germany.

The move would raise Bethmann's number of clients to 20,000 and increase its assets under management to 34 billion euros from 24 billion previously.

Credit Suisse and Bethmann declined comment.

A source close to Credit Suisse had told Reuters in June that the Swiss bank was mulling a sale as part of its effort to improve profit by focusing on the mega-rich rather than a larger "mass affluent" client base.

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

($1 = 0.7377 euro)

(Reporting by Alexander Huebner, writing by Jonathan Gould; editing by Matthew Lewis)

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