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German: Cooperative banks agree to biggest bank merger since 2010

 |  November 19, 2015

German cooperative lenders DZ Bank and WGZ Bank have agreed in principle to merge after several failed attempts to join forces, creating the country’s fourth-largest lender with around $534 billion in assets.

Six years after scrapping the last attempt, DZ Bank and WGZ Bank will pool investment to take on challenges such as tougher banking rules, increased competition and demand for more digital services.

The deal — Germany’s largest banking merger since Deutsche Bank’s takeover of Postbank in 2010 – will create a unified bank for the country’s more than 1,000 cooperative lenders, whose customers are also their owners.

Banking experts have been calling for consolidation in Germany’s fragmented banking system for a long time.

“For the efficiency of the German banking system it is a good thing”, said Dirk Becker from brokerage Kepler Cheuvreux.

Full content: The Wall Street Journal

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