Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank have begun talks about a possible merger that would be one of Europe’s largest financial sector tie-ups.
In a statement Deutsche confirmed that it was in discussions with its rival as part of a review of strategic options to “improve the growth profile and profitability of the bank”.
“In light of arising opportunities, the management board of Deutsche Bank has decided to review strategic options,” Deutsche said in its statement.
Christian Sewing, Deutsche Bank’s chief executive, told employees that Deutsche still aimed “to remain a global bank with a strong capital markets business… with a global network”.
Sewing said many factors could still prevent a merger and a Deutsche spokesman said the talks were expected to last some time. Commerzbank described the outcome as open.
However, formal disclosure of talks appeared to boost the chances of concluding a deal first floated in 2016 before the banks opted to focus on restructuring.