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Deutsche Bank should play leading role in banking consolidation - CEO

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

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BERLIN, Jan 3 (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) is gaining in financial strength, putting Germany's largest lender in a position to play a leading role in European banking consolidation, CEO Christian Sewing was quoted on Sunday as saying.

"We continue to do better and therefore meet the criteria to sit at the table when it comes to a possible consolidation of the European banks - and not just as a junior partner," Sewing told Welt am Sonntag in an interview.

Sewing, who is pursuing a long-term drive to boost earnings power at Deutsche after years of underperformance, has consistently said that his priority was to complete a turnaround by 2022.

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Talks on an all-German banking merger with Commerzbank (CBKG.DE) failed in 2019 and, with a stock market value of just 18 billion euros ($21.9 billion), Deutsche would be an affordable target for a more richly valued potential acquirer.

Sewing played up the bank's strategic importance for Europe's largest economy and top exporting nation, however, and said his restructuring drive was bearing fruit.

"It would be a mistake to rely on imports of financial services," said Sewing. "Every quarter in which we are successful makes us stronger."

Earnings and costs in its private and corporate business were absolutely on track, he added, and Deutsche's investment bank has outperformed expectations. ($1 = 0.8239 euros)

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Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Daniel Wallis

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