Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank confirmed on Sunday they were in talks about a merger, although both warned that a deal was far from certain and analysts questioned the merits of a combination.
Germany’s two largest banks issued short statements following separate meetings of their management boards, a person with knowledge of the matter said, indicating a quickening of pace in the merger process.
“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 also said that many factors could prevent a merger, and a Deutsche spokesman said the talks were expected to last for some time. For its part, Commerzbank described the outcome as open.
Formal disclosure of talks appears to boost the chances of concluding a deal floated in 2016 before the banks opted to focus on restructuring.