December 31, 2016 / 11:51 AM / a year ago

Deutsche Bank chairman rules out pan-European merger -Frankfurter Allgemeine

BERLIN, Dec 31 (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank chairman Paul Achleitner has ruled out a pan-European merger or a state bailout in the wake of the lender’s mortgage settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung reported.

Germany’s biggest lender last week announced a $7.2 billion settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice over its sale and pooling of toxic mortgage securities in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis.

“At the moment the fantasy for a pan-European merger is muted as we have other priorities,” Achleitner told the weekly newspaper in an interview published on Saturday.

Supervisors including Germany’s Bundesbank and the European Central Bank have called for more consolidation in the banking sector, saying there are still too many banks despite a steady fall in the number of branches since the 2008 financial crisis.

Separately, Achleitner said that government aid for players in the financial industry would not become an issue in Germany.

“No one in Germany needs to worry about rescuing banks,” said Achleitner, who is seeking another five-year term as Deutsche Bank chairman.

By contrast, the Italian government has earmarked 20 billion euros to bolster its ailing lenders. The Bank of Italy said on Thursday that total costs for the state bailout of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena would total about 6.6 billion euros. (Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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