Commerzbank AG is one of the leading banks in Germany. In 2019, it was the second biggest German bank based on the overall value of its balance sheet. It has approximately 13 million customers in Germany alone, with a further five million customers elsewhere in central and eastern Europe.
Commerzbank was established in February 1870 by a group of merchant and private bankers and Hanseatic merchants in Hamburg. It is now the number-one bank for the German Mittelstand. It has partnerships with 11 million small business clients in Germany alone, with 28,000 corporate clients in total. In 2021, its gross revenues totalled €8.5 billion. Commerzbank AG has a subsidiary in Poland, mBank S.A., which provides banking to digital natives in Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
The Commerzbank (ETR: CBK) share price is actually down over 91% historically from the mid-1990s through to December 2022. Its ‘boom’ period was around the turn of the new millennium when the price of Commerzbank stock reached an all-time high of €253. It plunged badly in 2002, falling to lows of 35.47 (EUR) by March 2003.
Commerzbank stock recovered well to €216 by June 2007, however, the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008 saw its value plummet to just over €13 by March 2009. In truth, the Commerzbank share price has never recovered since the 2008 global recession. With the European Central Bank (ECB) increasing the EU’s base rate of interest, German banks like Commerzbank have raised their revenue outlooks for 2024 by as much as $1 billion due largely to rising interest rates. With hefty corporate and retail divisions, Commerzbank stands to benefit more than most from rate hikes.
Deutsche Bank is the natural competitor of Commerzbank AG. Deutsche Bank was founded in the same year as Commerzbank and also delivers financial services to commercial, private and retail clients throughout Germany and beyond. It has a global employee base, with almost double the size of the workforce than Commerzbank.
Dutch bank ING Group is one of the newer banking kids on the block, founded in 1991. This Amsterdam-based firm also leads the way in next-generation financial services, including fintech. Meanwhile, HSBC is another commercial banking giant that currently puts Commerzbank in its shadow, based on its company valuation that’s ten-fold the size of Commerzbank. It also has a global workforce that’s more than four times that of Commerzbank.
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