Deutsche Bank CEO says bank must be more profitable before consolidating

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Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing was speaking to shareholders at the bank’s annual general meeting on Wednesday as he addressed questions about the bank’s strategy.

The bank, which is undergoing a major overhaul after five years of losses, is cutting 18,000 jobs. Last year, it abandoned talks to merge with competitor Commerzbank (DE:CBKG).

“We must be more profitable than today if we want to play a leading role in European consolidation,” Sewing said. “We are preparing for consolidation.”

Asked by a shareholder about whether the bank could avoid resorting to state aid during the coronavirus crisis, Sewing said the bank was much stronger than a few years ago.

“We are therefore well equipped to master the challenge that the current environment poses,” said Sewing. “The question … isn’t applicable”.