Deutsche Bank is weighing the acquisition of all or part of disgraced Wirecard's bank, potentially throwing the business a lifeline after one of the biggest corporate scandals in recent years.
The Frankfurt-based lender is in touch with German regulator BaFin, Wirecard Bank's management board and administrators on possible further steps to help Wirecard's finance unit, a Deutsche Bank spokesman said.
Options include taking on pieces of Wirecard Bank or the unit in its entirety, sources said, adding that the lender is still debating other ways to help Wirecard Bank and hasn't made a final decision.
Deutsche Bank had informal tie-up talks with the scandal-hit fintech last Spring. Wirecard Bank - which sat at the heart of the firm - could be valuable to a potential acquirer due to its relationship with credit card firms Visa, Mastercard and JCB International.
Deutsche Bank may also be hit if Wirecard Bank were to file for insolvency. Germany's deposit insurance scheme for private banks would have to make depositors whole if the lender didn't have enough funds of its own to repay them. That could lead to higher contributions from the scheme members, of which Deutsche Bank is the biggest and highest paying.
Wirecard filed for insolvency last week after saying that almost €2bn it previously reported as cash probably never existed.