Deutsche Bank CEO: M&A not priority this year – CNBC interview

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Deutsche Bank Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing told CNBC on Thursday that mergers and acquisitions were not a priority for the German lender this year.

The CEO of Germany’s largest bank was speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos days after the emergence of renewed speculation of possible mergers among European banks.

“I wouldn’t say it’s on top of my priority, to be honest,” he was quoted as saying on the potential for M&A.

Sewing reiterated that M&A among banks was inevitable but that certain preconditions must be met, including more harmonised conditions for banks in the European Union.

“Obviously, with regard to the sharply increased interest rates, you have to think about fair value gaps given the mortgage books of a lot of banks, so I don’t think it is a priority for this year,” he said of M&A.

He said the bank was focusing on its own business but that “smaller add-on” deals were possible.

(Reporting by Tom Sims and Frank Siebelt; Editing by Madeline Chambers and Mark Potter)