February 8, 2019 / 10:10 AM / 5 months ago

Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank merger talk "speculation" - German finmin

LONDON, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Germany's Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said on Friday he was in talks with banks about their future and called reports of a merger of Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank "speculation".

Media reports have said that Germany would want a merger of its two main banks to go through before European Parliament elections in May.

Scholz said he couldn't imagine what the elections have to do with the banking sector and was speculation that he could not understand.

"The truth is we are discussing the situation of the financial industry in Germany, it's the task of our government," Scholz told a Bloomberg event in London.

"We are discussing about clearing, we discuss about the development of the banking sector. We are debating whether the different banks, about their situation, for being able to do the necessary things when something needs to be done."

"Today is not a situation where it's necessary to report anything," Scholz said.

There was "no debate" about a setting up a bad bank to hold souring loans of lenders.

"There are two banks, they are doing anything to get enough profits. We are discussing with them about the situation of the banking industry in Germany," Scholz said.

A stable banking system is needed to underpin German companies who want to go abroad to export, he said. It was important to have both international and national banks operating in Germany to serve the economy.

"It's important to have a strong banking sector to do what national champions are doing and able to do."

Reporting by Marc Jones and Huw Jones

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