A comparison of the share price performance of Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank since spring 2019 is instructive. When both banks rejected a merger at the time, relief came to the financial centre. But the jubilation of employees who had feared for their jobs was deceptive. Both banks needed restructuring even without a merger, and shareholders had to go through a deep valley with them.

Deutsche Bank began its restructuring more quickly, so its share price recovered earlier. Commerzbank's business, on the other hand, has only really been gaining momentum for about a year now with the rise in interest rates. The share has doubled its value within twelve months and is the best share among 100 stocks in the F.A.Z. stock index during this period.

Although Deutsche Bank has set itself higher return targets, it has fallen behind Commerzbank in relative comparison. In 2022, Deutsche Bank achieved its highest annual profit since the financial crisis. But the stock market obviously lacks price imagination. The board should not be tempted by this to make mistakes.

Deutsche Bank is currently very successful and finally stable, even if its investment banking is not as profitable as usual, as with US competitors. Deutsche Bank should by no means take this as an opportunity to set itself new, overly grandiose goals just to please the stock market.