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”.