Deutsche Bank has confirmed to be in discussion with Commerzbank about a possible merger. Germany’s largest bank says it is looking at several strategic options and emphasizes that no decisions have yet been made.

A possible merger of financial institutions has been around for months. The German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) and his State Secretary Jörg Kukies have previously said that Germany needs strong banks and that the government is open to ‘economically meaningful options’. It is a public secret that the German government is behind the scenes driving a merger.

According to Deutsche Bank, several options are being looked into to boost growth and profitability. The group does not make any statements about the options.

Politicians are concerned that German banks are still in trouble ten years after the crisis. Deutsche Bank, the largest financial institution in Germany, wrote green figures for the first time in 2018 – a profit of 341 million euros – after the bank had suffered a loss for three consecutive years. However, the national bank is still far removed from the billions in profits it made before. The Commerzbank wrote twice as much profit in the books last year with 865 million euros. However, both banks saw their market value fall.

Financial experts doubt whether a merger will take away the problems at both banks. They also wonder whether the troubled Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank, which is in the midst of a reorganization, are together strong enough to put more weight in it to play a greater role internationally. Thousands of jobs would be at stake in an actual merger.

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