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Commerzbank AG
Listed aktiengesellschaft
Traded as FWBCBK
Founded February 26, 1870; 147 years ago (1870-02-26)
Headquarters Kaiserplatz
Hesse, Germany
Key people
Martin Zielke (CEO and Chairman of the executive board), Klaus-Peter Müller (Chairman of the supervisory board)
Revenue Decrease US$15.94 billion (2016)
Decrease1.909 Billion (2016)
Profit DecreaseUS$295.4. million (2016)
Total assets DecreaseUS$513.07 Billion (2016)
Number of employees
49,941 (2016)

Commerzbank A.G. is a global banking and financial services company founded in 1870 with its headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany.

Commerzbank is Germany's second-largest bank, holding a nationwide network of branch offices, numerous offshore branch offices and representations in more than 50 countries globally which employs a total of 51,782 employees as of June 2014. It offers its clients retail and commercial financing services, investment banking services, asset management, and private banking services.


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. Ship owner C. Woermann was the first chairman of the super-visory board of Commerz- und Disconto-Bank from 1870.[1]

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.[2]

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.[3][4][5][6] 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-euro ($22.3 billion) state bailout.[7]

To get “sustainable profitability”, in 2016 Commerzbank planned to cut 9,600 jobs or about a fifth of its workforce in 4 years.[8]

Commerzbank Tower

Commerzbank Tower in Frankfurt

The Commerzbank Tower is the tallest building in Frankfurt and in Germany, measuring 300,1 m (985 ft) to the top of the antenna. The 56-story building was designed by British architect Norman Foster and was Europe's first ecological skyscraper.[citation needed]

Criminal activity

For more than a decade, Commerzbank was involved in laundering hundreds of billions of dollars out of Iran, Sudan, and Myanmar, against US sanctions.[9] 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.[10][11]

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.[12] The police raid is about a "tax evasion probe in which several current and former managers are suspected of evading 40 million euros ($47 million) in taxes via dividend stripping, also known as "cum-ex" transactions".[12] The investigation also extends to trades in 2008 at Dresdner Bank, which was taken over by Commerzbank in 2009.[12] Commerzbank said "it proactively notified the authorities with the preliminary results of that investigation and is cooperating fully".[12]


  1. ^ Commerzbank's history on Commerzbank AG site.
  2. ^ History from 1870 until today on Commerzbank AG site.
  3. ^ Althaus, Sarah (2004-09-30). "Commerzbank unit chief 'to quit'". Retrieved 2013-10-26. 
  4. ^ "Commerzbank culls 900 as losses grow". 2004-11-09. Retrieved 2013-10-26. 
  5. ^ Landler, Mark (10 November 2004). "Major Bank in Germany Cutting Back Its Trading" – via 
  6. ^ "A weary lender". The Economist. 
  7. ^ Kanishka Singh (January 26, 2018), Goldman, Barclays, SocGen interested in Commerzbank unit: Handelsblatt Reuters.
  8. ^ "Commerzbank To Cut 9,600 Jobs By 2020". September 30, 2016. 
  9. ^ Schroeder, Peter (12 March 2015). "German bank to pay $1.45B to settle money laundering charges". 
  10. ^ Protess, Ben (12 March 2015). "Commerzbank of Germany to Pay $1.5 Billion in U.S. Case" – via 
  11. ^ Times), News Documents (The New York. "Justice Dept.'s Criminal Information With Commerzbank". 
  12. ^ a b c d Maria Sheahan, Tom Sims, Hans Seidenstuecker (14 November 2017). "German prosecutors raid Commerzbank in tax evasion probe". Reuters. 

External links

Media related to Commerzbank at Wikimedia Commons

  • Official website
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