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Strategy & business model

Commerzbank is a leading international commercial bank with branches and offices in nearly 50 countries. The Bank’s two business segments – Private and Small-Business Customers and Corporate Clients – offer a comprehensive portfolio of financial services precisely tailored to their customers’ needs. Commerzbank transacts approximately 30% of Germany’s foreign trade and is the market leader in German corporate banking. The Bank offers its sector expertise to its corporate clients in Germany and abroad and is a leading provider of capital market products. Its subsidiaries, Comdirect in Germany and mBank in Poland, are two of the world’s most innovative online banks. With approximately 800 branches going forward, Commerzbank has one of the densest branch networks in Germany. The Bank serves more than 11 million private and small-business customers nationwide and over 70,000 corporate clients, multinationals, financial service providers, and institutional clients worldwide. Its Polish subsidiary mBank S.A. has around 5.6 million private and corporate customers, predominantly in Poland, but also in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In 2018, Commerzbank generated gross revenues of €8.6 billion with approximately 49,000 employees.


Our strategy

The current low interest rate environment, statutory provisions, and digitalisation have brought radical changes to the banking sector. The way customers want to do their banking is changing too. Commerzbank is responding to this with its new strategic programme “Commerzbank 5.0”. With this programme, we are putting our business on a sustainable footing. We are focussing on further digitalisation and at the same time expanding our distribution and advisory capability. And we want to remain the top choice for SMEs and the best bank

We are also confronting the major social issues of our age. That is why our “Commerzbank 5.0” strategy promises “Banking: digital, personal, and responsible”. As a responsible bank, Commerzbank places customer data handling, integrity, and sustainability at the heart of what it does: data security and strict data protection are crucial. And robust compliance functions continue to be of vital importance. As for the issue of sustainability, in future, we will be more ambitious than ever and will work even more proactively towards the Paris climate targets. We are already a climate-neutral company. In addition, in September 2019, we were one of the Founding Signatories of the UN Principles for Responsible Banking. We also want to help our customers move towards greater sustainability with a greener product offering. Private customers have the option of taking out a green mortgage. In corporate banking, Commerzbank will be gearing its credit portfolio more towards business that is low in CO2 emissions.

Private and Small-Business Customers segment

In the Private and Small-Business Customers (PSBC) segment we are implementing a “Mobile first” strategy. We are systematically expanding our mobile banking. Because the world is becoming more mobile. The way in which people use services is changing. Our future is increasingly being determined on our customers’ smartphones. That’s why we want to have a firm presence there. We are succeeding in this because we are giving customers real added value by presenting them with customised offerings at the right time. At the same time, we are staying personal: with approximately 800 branches going forward, we are close to where our customers are. Our focus in the Private and Small-Business Customers segment is on profitable growth. We want to grow by more than a million customers by the end of 2023 and boost our combined loan and securities volume by more than 20%. We are giving our customers more choice with our premium offerings. We cater for all our customers’ personal finance needs, whether on a smartphone or in a branch. At the same time, we want to become the top choice for small-business and wealth management customers in Germany. We are completely transforming our business model in PSBC on the basis of these pillars. Our aim is to create the best offering for our customers in a mobile world.

Corporate Clients segment

We are consolidating our position as the leading bank for SMEs and are investing in building up our front office. We want to work even more closely with small and medium-sized enterprises and generate more client business with a focussed competitive drive in Germany. In the eurozone also, we intend to leverage our proven expertise in SME banking and to boost our business with SME clients. In addition, we will expand our successful sector approach with the aim of boosting business with German and European large corporates. We are augmenting our front office capabilities in Germany and selected eurozone locations and want to achieve profitable, sustainable growth. Key to this is the expansion of RWA-efficient business, greater utilisation of existing platforms, the simplification of our European IT infrastructure, and the standardisation of our product range.

IT and digitalisation

Digitalisation is changing the banking sector. So we want to finish what we started with “Commerzbank 4.0”: the modernisation of our IT systems and structures and the establishment of an agile, efficient delivery organisation. Under the new strategy, we plan to invest heavily in technology.

The evolution of the strategy is intended to help the Bank achieve further growth in customers and assets and increase its revenues by 2023, even in a still deteriorating market environment. The aim of “Commerzbank 5.0” is for us to become the leading bank in Germany for private, small-business and corporate customers: digital, personal, and responsible, close to the customer, offering fast and efficient processing. This will enable Commerzbank to achieve sustainable, profitable growth, even in a tough environment.

More information about our strategy:

Annual Report 2018

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