Tuesday 25 October 2016

Deutsche Bank boss Cryan to meet Noonan this week

Published 04/09/2016 | 02:30

Deutsche Bank chief executive John Cryan
Deutsche Bank chief executive John Cryan

Deutsche Bank chief executive John Cryan will meet with Finance Minister Michael Noonan this week in his first visit to Ireland since Brexit.

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Last week Cryan said London and the UK will remain Europe's top financial centre over the next decade.

It is understood that Cryan is examining the possibility of acquiring more office space near Deutsche's state-of-the-art offices in Dublin's Eastpoint Business Park. Alternative Dublin sites or regional office space close to a university will also be considered as the German bank weighs up its options following the June decision of Britain to leave the European Union.

Deutsche refused to be drawn on the Dublin visit, describing Cryan's visit to Ireland as "a normal business trip".

However the Sunday Independent has learned that Cryan is scheduled to meet Noonan as part of his itinerary.

Deutsche has had a presence in Ireland since 1991 and today employs more than 650 people at Eastpoint.

Both Deutsche and Commerzbank - the two biggest lenders in Europe's largest economy - have been slipping down the rankings of the continent's top banks, hamstrung by a fragmented and competitive home market, growing regulation and negative interest rates.

Their combined market value of around €26bn is less than half of France's BNP Paribas.

Top executives of Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank held talks on a potential combination of Germany's two biggest banks earlier this month, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters earlier in the week.

However, the two lenders have shelved the project as they want to complete their restructurings before taking any steps in the direction of a merger, the source said.

Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank declined to comment.

Cryan called on Wednesday for cross-border bank mergers in Europe, seeing the sector's fragmentation as placing an unacceptable squeeze on bank profits and long-term sustainability.

Criticising what he called the "scattered regionalism among banks", Cryan said at a financial conference: "We need more mergers, at a national level, but even also across national borders."

(Additional reporting Reuters)

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