|Traded as||FWB: CBK
|Founded||February 26, 1870Hamburg, Germanyin|
|Founders||Theodor Wille et al.|
|Headquarters||Kaiserplatz, Frankfurt am Main, Germany|
|Revenue||EUR9.16 billion (2017)|
|EUR1.303 billion (2017)|
|EUR156 million (2017)|
|EUR452.5 billion (2017)|
|EUR30 billion (2017)|
Number of employees
|Capital ratio||14,1% (2017)|
|Footnotes / references
Annual Report 2017
Commerzbank is Germany's fourth-largest bank by total assets. 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.
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.
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.
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. 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 EUR5.5 billion in 2008. Commerzbank was hit hard by the financial crisis and received an EUR18 billion ($22.3 billion) state bailout.
It has paid only one dividend in the ten years after the crisis. To get "sustainable profitability", in September 2016 Commerzbank planned to cut 9,600 jobs or about a fifth of its workforce in 4 years.
For more than a decade, Commerzbank was involved in laundering hundreds of billions of dollars out of Iran, Sudan, and Myanmar, against US sanctions. 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.
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. The police raid is about a "tax evasion probe in which several current and former managers are suspected of evading EUR40 million ($47 million) in taxes via dividend stripping, also known as "cum-ex" transactions". The investigation also extends to trades in 2008 at Dresdner Bank, which was taken over by Commerzbank in 2009. Commerzbank said "it proactively notified the authorities with the preliminary results of that investigation and is cooperating fully".
Media related to Commerzbank at Wikimedia Commons
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