March 11, 2020 / 8:50 AM / 16 days ago

German finance minister, top bankers to discuss coronavirus measures - sources

FILE PHOTO: Doctor Roxana Sauer looks into a car as she prepares a test kit for a coronavirus (COVID-19) test during a media event at a drive-in coronavirus check at the hospital of Gross-Gerau, Germany, March 9, 2020. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany’s finance minister and its top bankers will meet on Friday to discuss measures to combat the impact of the coronavirus, five sources with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.

Olaf Scholz will meet the chief executives of Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) and Commerzbank (CBKG.DE), as well as top bankers from Unicredit-owned HVB (CRDI.MI) and officials from various banking lobbies, some of the sources said.

The finance ministry and banks declined or did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Germany’s banking lobby called for rules to be eased to help its members through the crisis.

“In this exceptional situation we need a set of measures to limit the economic consequences for our country,” Association of German Banks president Hans-Walter Peters said.

Leading German bank shares have plummeted since mid-February, when the epidemic gained a foothold in Europe, spooking financial markets and sparking emergency meetings and measures by policymakers.

The Bank of England announced a surprise rate cut on Wednesday, and other countries are under similar pressure to take urgent steps to fend off a hit to the global economy. The European Central Bank meets on Thursday.

Additional reporting by Michael Nienaber in Berlin; writing by Tom Sims; editing by John Stonestreet

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