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Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft is a major German bank operating as a universal bank, headquartered in Frankfurt am Main. In the 2019 financial year, the bank was the second largest in Germany by the total value of its balance sheet. The bank is present in more than 50 countries around the world and provides almost a third of Germany's trade finance. In 2017, it handled 13 million customers in Germany and 5 million customers in Central and Eastern Europe. Commerzbank is a member of the Cash Group. 15% of the shares are owned by the Federal Republic of Germany and 85% are in free float.

The bank has been subject to several corruption investigations, paying $US1.5 billion in fines in 2015.

Shareholders and management

As of December 2018, the bank's two largest shareholders were the Government of Germany (15.6%) and Cerberus Capital Management (5.01%). In July 2020, the bank's chairman Stefan Schmittmann announced that he will be resigning by August 3. Subsequently, Martin Zielke, Commerzbank's chief executive said that he is ready to step out of its function. The decisions were made after in June 2020, Cerberus attacked the firm's leadership team, "significant change at the supervisory board, the management board and the company’s strategic plan to stop a 'downward spiral' caused by what the investor said were bloated costs, low profits and managerial inaction." In the Q2 of 2020, the company made an operating profit of €205 million; it was 34 per cent less compared to the same period of 2019. "According to people familiar with the matter", the bank's profit was more affected by the insolvency of Wirecard than the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In September 2020, the bank named Deutsche Bank AG German retail head Manfred Knof to take over as the chief executive officer on Jan 1, 2021.

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Alena Potapova

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