April 26, 2019 / 10:37 AM / 3 months ago

Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank dispute origins of merger talks

FILE PHOTO: Headquarters of Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank (L) are photographed in Frankfurt, Germany, March 19, 2019. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank on Friday offered differing accounts of who initiated merger talks, disclosing a rift between the two banks a day after their talks ended in failure.

Commerzbank approached the larger Deutsche Bank about a potential merger, a senior Deutsche Bank executive said, an overture that kicked off six weeks of intensive and frantic but ultimately fruitless talks.

It was the first indication of which bank had initiated talks between Germany’s top lenders. The executive spoke on condition of anonymity to journalists on a media call.

However, a spokeswoman for Commerzbank denied that version of events. The talks “started jointly and they ended jointly,” the spokeswoman said.

Reporting by Hans Seidenstuecker, Andreas Framke and Tom Sims; editing by Sabine Wollrab and Keith Weir

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