Commerzbank isn't alone with such problems. The euro crisis and the higher capital requirements being imposed by regulators have adversely affected almost all European banks. And because of growing fears within the banks of a collapse of the euro zone, they are preparing for the worst by withdrawing to their home markets and winding down many investments.


In a situation reminiscent of the autumn of 2008, after the bankruptcy of investment bank Lehman Brothers, ailing banks are infecting the rest of the economy. "Cross-border financing is declining in Europe," says Michael Keller, managing partner of the Frankfurt-based management-consulting firm Keller & Coll.

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