FRANKFURT (dpa-AFX) - Germany's two biggest lenders, Deutsche Bank (DB) and Commerzbank (CRZBY.PK) Sunday confirmed they are in discussions to potential merge.
A merger could result in massive cost savings, in particular by closing branches. But critics reportedly say integrating the firms would be complicated and risky.
The German government appears to favour a deal.
It still owns a 15.5% stake in Commerzbank, acquired after the bank was bailed out following the financial crisis.
'Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank have agreed today to start discussions with an open outcome on a potential merger,'Commerzbank said.
Deutsche Bank said,'In light of arising opportunities, the management board of Deutsche Bank has decided to review strategic options. In doing so, the management board of Deutsche Bank is focused on improving the growth profile and profitability of the bank. There is no certainty that any transaction will occur.'
Deutsche Bank said,' In this context we confirm that we are engaging in discussions with Commerzbank.'
'I have consistently stressed that consolidation in the German and European banking sector is an important topic for us,' Deutsche Bank Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing said in a letter to employees. 'We have to assess how we want to play a part in shaping it.'
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX