Investors got a snapshot of Commerzbank's thinking on Wednesday.
Key point: the German lender is still open to mergers following the collapse of talks with larger rival Deutsche Bank..
Those talks show, said Commerzbank's CEO, where the bank should - quote - "sharpen its strategy." As for why, after six weeks of negotiations, they failed last month: (SOUNDBITE) (German) COMMERZBANK CEO, MARTIN ZIELKE, SAYING: "The risks of implementation, the costs of restructuring and the capital requirements for such a large-scale integration would have been too high." In response to questions, Zielke said Commerzbank was open to growing "inorganically ..." In other words, through mergers and acquisitions.
The bank is still partially state-owned after a bailout during the financial crisis ... And has been trying to cut costs.
Profits rose in 2018 - but needed, he added, to improve further under its Commerzbank 4.0 strategy .... To withstand the forces buffeting the sector as a whole.
(SOUNDBITE) (German) COMMERZBANK CEO, MARTIN ZIELKE, SAYING: "Regulation, technology, changing customer behaviour, low interest rates., competition, to sum up the key points ...." Dutch lender ING has expressed interest in what is Germany's second-largest lender..
As has Italy's Unicredit.
Commerzbank says it'll be able to disclose more about its strategy after a supervisory board meeting in September.