The board of directors of Deutsche Bank He agreed to hold talks with rival Commerzbank about the viability of a merger, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Sunday. Deutsche Bank has more than 20 million personal and business customers, and Commerzbank around 18 million.
The first unofficial contacts They took place within a very small group of people and the mandate of the Deutsche Council was granted more than a week ago.
The talks were at a very early stage and could fall apart, the source added, confirming the information previously reported by the newspaper "The Welt am Sonntag."
Spokesmen for Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank declined to comment.
Speculation about a possible merger between the two banks Germany's most important have been common for months. Both entities have struggled to return to sustainable profitability since the global financial crisis. The German government has a stake of more than 15% in Commerzbank after a bailout.
Deutsche It is considered one of the most important banks in the world financial system, but it has been affected by three years of losses, ratings downgrades, failed stress tests and money laundering scandals.
His executive advisor, Christian Sewing, has publicly said that in recent months he was focused on returning profitability before a complex merger project.
The president of Commerzbank, Martin Zielke, has been more open to the idea of a merger. Last month, he said speculation about a merger was "understandable."
The two banks flirted with a merger in 2016, but the talks faded after they decided to focus on restructuring.