The Deutsche Bank Commerzbank Merger
Deutsche Bank which, which was once a dominant German financial institution has now become extremely fragile. This German bank managed to make it past the great recession of 2009. However, the bank has been facing one challenge after another ever since the recession got over. At the present moment, the bank is functional and solvent. However, the German government is afraid that if the economy faces any shock or even if Deutsche bank has to pay a big fine, it will simply collapse. The German government is not very comfortable with this situation. Deutsche Bank is one of their central financial institutions and financial troubles at Deutsche Bank could endanger the fledgling export-led German economy. This is the reason why the German government is eager to merge the Deutsche bank with Commerzbank.
However, the merger process hasnt been a smooth ride either. The government is facing stiff resistance from employees at these institutions. In this article, we will have a closer look at this proposed merger as well as the possible after-effects.
Why Has Commerzbank Been Chosen For The Merger?
The German government has made it very clear that it wants to keep the financing of German small and medium enterprises in German hands. This is the reason why it wants Deutsche Bank to merge with Commerzbank. Commerzbank, like Deutsche Bank, was under severe financial stress after the 2009 crisis. The bank would not have survived had it not been for the bailout by the German government. Also, Commerzbank itself has gone through several mergers. Hence, it has the required experience to manage a merger of this magnitude.
At the present moment, the German government has a 15% equity stake in Commerzbank. Also, it fears that Commerzbank is also volatile and hence is a likely target for a hostile takeover bid by a foreign bank. The German government, therefore, sees Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank as two entities which have complementary needs. If left alone, both the entities are likely to collapse. However, if merged together, the combined entities will have the financial wherewithal to survive grave financial distress.
The merger of Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank would result in many advantages. Some of them have been listed below.
- Dominant Firm: Firstly, the combined entity would be a dominant financial firm. It would control over one-fifth of the retail banking market in Germany which is a leading industrial nation. The combined entity is expected to have a market valuation of over $30 billion. Also, the assets under the control of this combined entity would be close to $2 trillion! Size will make a lot of difference as far as both these banks are concerned. This is because a large size will act as a deterrent for hostile takeover attempts.
- Technology Costs: Banking has now become a technology-intensive business. This is the reason why the combined entity will have an advantage over its rivals. The combined entity will have twice the budget that other banks have. Hence, it will be able to introduce newer and better services which will help it capture market share. Also, the technological expenses as a percentage of the sales will be lower than the peers of the combined entity.
- Labour Costs: Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank both employ a large number of people in Germany. It is estimated that their total workforce stands close to 140,000 people within Germany. When both banks are merged, there will be some synergies. As a result, it will allow the combined entity to cut some jobs. These job reductions are likely to reduce the operating expense of the bank by $2 billion per year.
There are many problems and issues which may arise once the Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank merger takes place. Some of these problems have been written below:
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