Deutsche Bank CEO does not want to be junior partner in M&A: Bloomberg TV

FILE PHOTO: Christian Sewing, CEO of Deutsche Bank AG, gestures during the bank's annual news conference in Frankfurt, Germany January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank’s chief executive Christian Sewing does not want the German lender to play second fiddle in any potential tie-up with other lenders, he said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.

The comment is a reiteration of his long-held position but the first time he has spoken at length on the topic since speculation of European bank mergers heated up in recent weeks.

“Consolidation needs to happen in Europe,” Sewing was quoted as saying. “It’s important that we’re not a junior partner.”

Last year, Deutsche Bank called off merger talks with its smaller domestic rival Commerzbank CBKG.DE. It also briefly explored a tie-up with Swiss lender UBS UBSG.S.

Sewing told Bloomberg TV that he was “laser-focused” on his current strategy but that if the bank’s share price were to recover “we then have a different position, a better position” in considering big deals.

Deutsche Bank shares hit a record low earlier this year but have since bounced back to gain 6.4% so far this year.

Last month, Deutsche Bank’s finance chief James von Moltke underscored the logic behind big bank mergers and said the bank was preparing to “engage in merger activity when the time comes and the right opportunities arise”.

Reporting by Tom Sims; Editing by Riham Alkousaa and Louise Heavens