Shareholders of Allianz at its annual general meeting in Munich have been told that the insurer is actively involved in talks about the future of its Dresdner Bank division. That could lead to consolidation in the German banking sector which is fragmented and so less competitive internationally. One shareholder said: “I feel Dresdner Bank never really fitted with Allianz. I used to work for Dresdner and I think it would be better for the bank’s shares to be separated.”
Allianz could sell Dresdner or take control of a German private or state bank through a merger. Shares in the country’s largest lender, Deutsche Bank, and the No 2, Commerzbank rose in reaction, though Chief Executive Michael Diekmann was not clear when he addressed shareholders. He said: “In a sector, which is characterised by the strong presence, of German public banks, private banking’s objective should be to reach a market share that is competitive. We are currently holding talks, but they have not reached the stage where I’d like to report on them today.”
Allianz, which has been accused of not getting a good enough return on its purchase of Dresdner, is currently splitting it into two divisions, one for private and corporate clients and the other for investment banking.