Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank confirmed on Sunday that they had begun talks on the possible merger of two German banks.
"There is no guarantee that these discussions will result in a transaction," the Deutsche Bank said in a statement.
The German government, concerned about the financial health of Deutsche Bank, lobbied for the first bank in Germany to discuss merging with Commerzbank, the country's second-largest bank, according to officials close to that case.
Deutsche Bank emerged undamaged from the financial crisis of 2008, but lost ground. In 2016, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) described it as a higher potential financial risk due to its links with other banking groups.
The German authorities are afraid that a recession or a major punishment, for example, would jeopardize the bank's fragile recovery. Berlin wants a credible national champion in banking who will support his export-based economy.
Tom Sims, Matthieu Protard for the French version
Pierre Serisier would