Deutsche Bank chief John Cryan is calling for cross-border bank mergers in Europe to help deal with the sector's fragmentation and a tight squeeze on bank profits. Laura Frykberg reports.
Quality over quantity. That's the message from Deutsche Bank. CEO John Cryan says Germany has too many lenders. And more should merge, including with those in other countries. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BREAKINGVIEWS EUROPEAN BANKING COLUMNIST, DOMINIC ELLIOT SAYING: "What he wants is fewer banks, less competition essentially, and higher profitability." Deutsche appears weaker than its European peers. The EU ranked it near the bottom of dozens of lenders without enough capital for a rainy day. Cryan blames negative interest rates. A way many of Germany's almost 2000 lenders have made money in the past. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BREAKINGVIEWS EUROPEAN BANKING COLUMNIST, DOMINIC ELLIOT SAYING: "Deutsche Bank doesn't have a lot of options, it needs to keep doing what it's doing, it needs to keep cutting costs, it needs to keep trying to shed assets as well, just to make itself a much more slim-line operation." The German government says it's aware of the sector's decline. But is unable to implement reform, when power lies state to state. A spokesperson for the finance ministry says banks must solve their own problems. Perhaps Cryan is trying to do just that.