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Commerzbank sees opportunity as Swiss exit German wealth management

The logo of Germany's Commerzbank is pictured behind a fountain in Frankfurt May 10, 2013. Picture taken May 10, 2013. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner
The logo of Germany's Commerzbank is pictured behind a fountain in Frankfurt May 10, 2013. Picture taken May 10, 2013. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Commerzbank expects other lenders to follow Credit Suisse's move to sell its private bank in Germany, creating opportunities for Commerzbank to expand its wealth management business, a divisional chief said.

"This (wealth management) market will change a lot over the next two, three years. Other Swiss banks are exiting the German market. That's where I see our chance," Gustav Holtkemper, head of Commerzbank's wealth management business, told Euro am Sonntag in an interview published online on Saturday.

Switzerland's Credit Suisse said last month that it would sell its private bank in Germany to Frankfurt-based Bethmann Bank, part of state-owned Dutch group ABN AMRO as it focuses on ultra-rich clients.

The move vaults Bethmann into third place among private banks in Germany, behind Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank .

Commerzbank's wealth management business, the second-biggest in Germany, has about 70,000 customers and 53 billion euros ($72.15 billion) under management, giving it a market share of about 10 percent.

"We aim to expand our market share," Holtkemper said but declined to provide a specific target.

(Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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