BERLIN (Reuters) – Dutch lender ING Groep has decided against a tie-up with Germany’s Commerzbank, German business daily Handelsblatt said in a pre-released report on Monday, citing financial sources.
ING’s management opted not to pursue the merger a month and a half ago, Handelsblatt reported, after Commerzbank chief executive Martin Zielke and ING boss Ralph Hamers met twice to discuss a potential deal.
ING and Commerzbank both declined to comment on the report.
ING chief executive Hamers said earlier this month there was “limited” logic for cross-border bank mergers within the European Union as long as the bloc’s banking union plan was incomplete.
Commerzbank’s Zielke said last month the German lender was still open to merger opportunities following the collapse of talks with its larger rival Deutsche Bank earlier this year.
ING is the largest retail bank in the Benelux countries and the third biggest in Germany behind Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank.
On Thursday shares in Commerzbank jumped after Bloomberg reported that Germany was in discussions with the Netherlands over a possible tie-up between the bank and ING.
(Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Jan Harvey)