one of the largest banking concerns in the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). It is one of the “big three” banks (the Grossbanken), along with the Deutsche Bank and the Dresdner Bank.
The Commerz Bank was founded in Hamburg in 1870 to finance foreign trade. By the start of World War II it had moved to third place among the country’s largest banks. It played a major role in financing fascist aggression and plundering the occupied countries. After the war the Commerz Bank was broken up at first, but then with the assistance of the Western occupation forces it was restored.
The Commerz Bank is the center of one of the financial groups of the FRG, a group including the Kaufhof and Karstadt trade concerns, the Gerling insurance concern, and the Goldschmidt industrial enterprises. The Commerz Bank has branches and offices in 14 countries and is a part owner of banks in 20 countries (1972). It is a founder and co-owner of many of the privately owned international banks that arose in the late 1960’s. In 1970 the Commerz Bank concluded the Agreement on Cooperation with the second largest bank in France, Crédit Lyonnais; in 1971 the largest bank in Italy, the Banco di Roma, signed the pact. In early 1972 this international banking group had 3,036 branches in the FRG, France, and Italy. In late 1970 the capital stock of the Commerz Bank was 350 million marks. The balance total was 19.7 billion marks; deposits stood at 14.7 billion marks, and discounts and loans totaled 13.8 billion marks.
V. N. SHENAEV