Commerzbank

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Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft
Aktiengesellschaft
Traded as FWBCBK
LSECZB
ISIN DE000CBK1001
Industry Financial services
Founded February 26, 1870; 148 years ago (1870-02-26) in Hamburg, Germany[1]
Founders Theodor Wille et al.[1]
Headquarters Kaiserplatz, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Services
Revenue Decrease 9.16 billion (2017)
Decrease €1.303 billion (2017)
Decrease €156 million (2017)
Total assets Decrease €452.5 billion (2017)
Total equity Increase €30 billion (2017)
Number of employees
Decrease 49,417 (2017)
Capital ratio Increase 14,1% (2017)
Rating
Website www.commerzbank.com
Footnotes / references
Annual Report 2017

Commerzbank AG is a German banking and financial services company based in Frankfurt, Hesse, Germany.

Commerzbank is Germany's fourth-largest bank by total assets.[4] The bank is present in more than 50 countries around the world, although primarily provides services in Germany and Poland. As of 2018, it provides almost a third of Germany's trade finance and the German state is the largest shareholder with a 15% stake.[5]

History

Commerz- und Disconto-Bank, Hamburg, 1874.
Former seat of Hessischer Bankverein in Kassel which was taken over in 1922, the building is used since then by Commerzbank

Commerzbank was founded in 1870 by individual and merchant bankers in Hamburg, Germany. Shipowner C. Woermann was the first chairman of the supervisory board of Commerz- und Disconto-Bank from 1870.[6]

The bank grew through a series of over 50 mergers, acquisitions and restructures in the following period through hyperinflation and the accompanied difficulties in the German economy. In 1940, the name Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft, by which the bank was generally known, was officially adopted.

With the division of Europe after World War II, three regional banks were united in 1958 to form Commerzbank AG, which had its headquarters in Düsseldorf. Commerzbank stepped up its economic financing activities and started expanding around the globe. From 1970 onwards, the bank's administrative activities were shifted to Frankfurt am Main, which has been its legal domicile since 1990.[7]

Commerzbank suffered reversals in a disastrous foray into investment banking in the first half decade of the 2000s and eventually shut down its Commerzbank Securities investment banking unit run by Mehmet Dalman and Roman Schmidt after Chairman Klaus-Peter Müller labelled it a "problem child" and a review by consulting firm Mercer Oliver Wyman which concluded that Commerzbank Securities lacked a viable business model.[8][9][10][11] What was left of Commerzbank Securities was folded into a division of the commercial bank called Corporates and Markets.

Further mergers, acquisitions and restructures saw the group grow to servicing over 4 million customers in 1998, 6 million customers in 2001 and 15 million post the Global Financial Crisis oriented takeover of Dresdner Bank from Allianz for €5.5 billion in 2008. Commerzbank was hit hard by the financial crisis and received an €18 billion ($22.3 billion) state bailout.[12]

It has paid only one dividend in the ten years after the crisis.[5] To get "sustainable profitability", in September 2016 Commerzbank planned to cut 9,600 jobs or about a fifth of its workforce in 4 years.[13]

Controversies

For more than a decade, Commerzbank was involved in laundering hundreds of billions of dollars out of Iran, Sudan, and Myanmar, against US sanctions.[14] Commerzbank agreed to pay $1.5 billion in fines and dismiss several employees for their role in laundering $253 billion, and for helping the Japanese company Olympus Corporation orchestrate accounting fraud.[15][16]

In 2017, Frankfurt prosecutors, together with federal crime police and tax officials, conducted searches of Commerzbank offices as well as the flats of three suspects in Frankfurt and nearby Hanau.[17] The police raid is about a "tax evasion probe in which several current and former managers are suspected of evading €40 million ($47 million) in taxes via dividend stripping, also known as "cum-ex" transactions".[18] The investigation also extends to trades in 2008 at Dresdner Bank, which was taken over by Commerzbank in 2009.[18] Commerzbank said "it proactively notified the authorities with the preliminary results of that investigation and is cooperating fully".[18]

References

  1. ^ a b Manfred Pohl, Sabine Freitag, ed. (1994). Handbook on the History of European Banks. Brookfield: Edward Elgar Publishing. p. 375. ISBN 1-85278-919-0. 
  2. ^ Michael Brächer (September 6, 2017). "Ein Banker als Anwalt der Kunden". Handelsblatt (in German). Retrieved May 6, 2018. 
  3. ^ "Commerzbank-Aufsichtsrat neu gewählt: Schmittmann wird Vorsitzender". Handelsblatt (in German). May 8, 2018. Retrieved May 25, 2018. 
  4. ^ "Zahlen, Daten, Fakten der Kreditwirtschaft" (PDF). Zahlen, Daten, Fakten der Kreditwirtschaft: p. 9. November 2017 – via Association of German Banks (Bundesverband deutscher Banken e.V.). 
  5. ^ a b "How Germany Might Sell Its Commerzbank Stake: Four Scenarios". Bloomberg.com. 2018-03-27. Retrieved 2018-03-27. 
  6. ^ Commerzbank's history on Commerzbank AG site.
  7. ^ History from 1870 until today on Commerzbank AG site.
  8. ^ Althaus, Sarah (2004-09-30). "Commerzbank unit chief 'to quit'". FT.com. Retrieved 2013-10-26. 
  9. ^ "Commerzbank culls 900 as losses grow". Efinancialnews.com. 2004-11-09. Retrieved 2013-10-26. 
  10. ^ Landler, Mark (10 November 2004). "Major Bank in Germany Cutting Back Its Trading" – via NYTimes.com. 
  11. ^ "A weary lender". The Economist. 
  12. ^ Kanishka Singh (January 26, 2018), Goldman, Barclays, SocGen interested in Commerzbank unit: Handelsblatt Reuters.
  13. ^ "Commerzbank To Cut 9,600 Jobs By 2020". September 30, 2016. 
  14. ^ Schroeder, Peter (12 March 2015). "German bank to pay $1.45B to settle money laundering charges". 
  15. ^ Protess, Ben (12 March 2015). "Commerzbank of Germany to Pay $1.5 Billion in U.S. Case" – via NYTimes.com. 
  16. ^ Times), News Documents (The New York. "Justice Dept.'s Criminal Information With Commerzbank". www.documentcloud.org. 
  17. ^ Sims, Tom. "German prosecutors raid Commerzbank in tax evasion probe". U.K. Retrieved 2018-05-03. 
  18. ^ a b c Maria Sheahan, Tom Sims, Hans Seidenstuecker (14 November 2017). "German prosecutors raid Commerzbank in tax evasion probe". Reuters. Retrieved 14 November 2017. 

External links

Media related to Commerzbank at Wikimedia Commons

  • Official website
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