Dresdner Bank

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Dresdner Bank Aktiengesellschaft

legal form Corporation
founding November 12, 1872
resolution May 11, 2009
Reason for dissolution Merger with Commerzbank
Seat Frankfurt am Main , Germany
Number of employees 21,341 (December 2008)
Branch Banks

Dresdner Bank shares in excess of RM 1000 in September 1952

The Dresdner Bank Aktiengesellschaft was until May 10, 2009, a major bank based in Frankfurt , whose roots dated back to the year 1872nd In terms of total assets and number of employees, the company was the third largest bank in Germany. On May 11, 2009 , Dresdner Bank AG merged with Commerzbank AG and has thus expired as a legal entity.

The name "Dresdner Bank" still exists - without the legal form suffix "AG" - as a Commerzbank brand and was still used for some branches of the former Dresdner Bank AG until the changeover was completed at the end of August 2010. A branch on Dresden's Altmarkt continues to use the name in order not to lose the trademark rights. The branches, technology and administration have merged into the “new Commerzbank”, which resulted in a reduction of around 9,000 jobs, 6,500 of them in Germany.


19th century to the First World War

Dresdner Bank was founded on November 12, 1872 by converting the private bank Michael Kaskel, founded in 1771, into a stock corporation in Dresden . In addition to Carl Freiherr von Kaskel , Felix Freiherr von Kaskel and Eugen Gutmann , who assumed the role of spokesman for the board, the founding members were Allgemeine Deutsche Credit-Anstalt , Berliner Handels-Gesellschaft , Frankfurter Deutsche Vereinsbank , Deutsche Effecten- und Wechselbank and Anglo -Deutsche Bank from Hamburg .

On December 3, 1872, Dresdner Bank was entered in the Dresden Commercial Register. It was listed on January 7, 1873 on the Berlin Stock Exchange . Under the management of Eugen Gutmann, the bank survived the founder crash of 1873 almost unscathed and was able to survive the subsequent founder crisis by taking over the Sächsische Bankverein (1873), Dresdner Handelsbank (1874), Sächsische Creditbank (1877) and Thüringische Landesbank ( 1878) develop into a regional bank with a focus on central Germany.

Dresdner Bank's Berlin headquarters (1884)

In 1881 a branch was opened in Berlin , the development of which soon surpassed that of the headquarters. Therefore, in 1884 the head office was relocated to Berlin, but Dresden remained the legal seat. From 1887–1889 a new business center was built in Berlin . As a result, it developed into one of the largest German banks, above all by systematically implementing the branch banking concept for the first time and opening many branches in all of the country's economic centers.

In 1891 the bank took over the Dresdner Bankhaus Robert Thode & Co. , in 1892 the founding partner Anglo-Deutsche Bank , which then acted as a Hamburg branch. In the following year, Dresdner Bank participated in the establishment of the Italian Banca Commerciale Italiana , followed in 1895 by the establishment of a branch in London and the merger with Bremer Bank . In 1896 branches were added in Frankfurt am Main, Nuremberg and Fürth, in 1898 in Hanover, Bückeburg, Mannheim, Chemnitz, Altona and Lübeck.

In 1903 the Dresdner Bank entered into a syndicate with the Schaaffhausen'schen Bankverein , which was terminated again in 1909 because the bank was unable to maintain a permanent profile as a partner of the Rhenish-Westphalian heavy industry despite Waldemar Mueller's contacts . In 1904 the bank took over the Erlanger & Söhne Frankfurt am Main bank and the Deutsche Genossenschaftsbank and founded the German-West African Bank .

In 1905, Dresdner Bank, together with the Schaaffhausen'schen Bankverein and the National Bank, founded the German-South American Bank and the Deutsche Orientbank . 1906 to 1910 new branches were added in Munich, Heidelberg, Freiburg, Augsburg, Kassel, Leipzig, Wiesbaden and Fulda. In 1910, the Breslauer Wechselbank, the Württembergische Landesbank and the Vereinsbank in Frankfurt (Oder) were taken over.

In 1917 the Dresdner Bank took over the Rheinisch-Westfälische Disconto-Gesellschaft zu Aachen , which developed from the banking division of the transport and forwarding company " Charlier & Scheibler ", which was continued as the "Aachener Disconto-Gesellschaft" from 1872, and in 1902 it became the "Rheinische Diskonto- Society ”and in 1905 it was renamed the“ Rheinisch-Westfälische Diskonto-Gesellschaft ”. It was the largest bank that had been taken over to date, with notable investments in, among others, Bankhaus Hardy & Co. GmbH, Dürener Bank , Eschweiler Bank , Bankhaus Johann Ohligschläger and Bankhaus Alwin Hilger . Dresdner Bank thus gained broad access to the Rhenish-Westphalian industrial area.

The main administration building of Dresdner Bank in Berlin's Behrenstrasse (1926)

Weimar Republic and the time of National Socialism

With inflation after World War I , the workload on banks increased enormously. The number of employees increased from 9,600 in 1918 to 23,000 in 1923. The number of accounts rose in the same period from 376,000 to 540,000, the share capital doubled to 1.1 billion marks. As a result of the currency devaluation, the balance sheet total rose to 204 trillion marks in 1923. In the opening balance sheet for Goldmarkers in 1924, the share capital was determined to be 78 million goldmarks at a ratio of 12½: 1 .

In 1932, by order of the Reich government , the Dresdner Bank had to merge with the insolvent Darmstädter und Nationalbank (Danatbank, the bank had suffered high losses in connection with the stock market crash on “ Black Friday ” in 1929), with which it had had a community of interests since 1930. The German Reich took over the majority of the shares. Between 1933 and 1942, Dresdner Bank's business expanded rapidly, with total assets tripling. The direct influence of the National Socialists on the Dresdner Bank was based on the fact that the Reich government, chaired by Hitler, was able to influence the bank's board of directors. In 1935, for example, in the course of the " Aryanization of Jewish assets" , it took over the traditional Dresdner private bank Arnhold . In 1937, when the bank's consolidation was completed and the shares sold in 1931 could be reprivatised, the bank regained its independence. Overall, Dresdner Bank is considered to be the major German bank that was most involved in the crimes of National Socialist rule. The bank benefited in particular from the Nazi wars of conquest in the east and the systematic exploitation of the labor of Jewish and Eastern European forced laborers as the so-called "house bank of the SS ". She was both the largest lender of the SS (according to an internal study, the equivalent of 160 million euros) as well as a co-founder and shareholder of front companies  - including at Huta Hoch- und Tiefbau AG , which was entrusted with extensive construction activities in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp . Dresdner Bank had reason to believe that it could play a leading role in the banking sector in a Germanized Europe. When the war broke out, Dresdner Bank lost many business contacts, then it benefited from some takeovers - Länderbank Wien AG , Böhmische Escompte-Bank and Creditanstalt Prague (Bebca) , Handels- und Kreditbank AG Riga, Ostbank für Handel und Gewerbe AG Posen , the Cracow Commercial Bank and the Bratislava Commercial and Credit Bank.

Separation and creation of the new Dresdner Bank

Dresdner Bank advertisement in Cologne, 1965
On the left the silver tower built in 1978 . It housed part of the Dresdner Bank headquarters in Frankfurt am Main. On the right opposite is the Skyper of the Deka-Bank.

In 1945, Dresdner Bank - like the other major banks, Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank - was disentangled by the Allied military administrations. In the Soviet occupation zone and in Berlin, the closure and complete expropriation took place. It lost 162 branches in East Berlin, the Soviet Zone and the areas east of the Oder-Neisse border . Due to orders from the military government, eleven branch groups were established between 1947 and 1948. Although the groups were dependent, they each had their own organization and management .

In 1949, after the establishment of the Federal Republic of Germany , the Bank für Handel und Industrie AG was founded in the three western sectors of Berlin , the share capital of which was held by the Hamburger Kreditbank, the Rhein-Ruhr Bank and the Rhein-Main-Bank and later transferred to the successor institutions has been.

In 1952, with the "Law on the Settlement Area for Credit Institutions" and the subsequent general meetings on September 25, 1952, Dresdner Bank was retrospectively merged into three successor institutions:

The shareholders of the old bank received shares in the successor institutions as well as remaining quotas , which securitized the expropriated assets in the east. At the general meeting in the spring of 1957, it was decided to legally reunite the three banks. With retroactive effect to January 1, 1957, the three regional institutes, between which a profit transfer agreement had existed since 1955 , merged to form Dresdner Bank Aktiengesellschaft .

Recent history

The Fürstenhof, the main office in Frankfurt am Main
Entrance to the Silver Tower as corporate headquarters (around 2003)

In 1967 the Dresdner Bank founded as Compagnie Luxembourgeoise de Banque SA (then until 2010 Dresdner Bank Luxembourg SA) the first German subsidiary of a bank in Luxembourg.

On July 30, 1977, the board spokesman Jürgen Ponto was murdered by terrorists of the RAF in his house in Oberursel (Taunus) .

On November 29, 1983, in the Flick party donation scandal , the Bonn public prosecutor brought charges of bribery against the board spokesman of Dresdner Bank and former Federal Minister of Economics, Hans Friderichs ( FDP ). On February 16, 1987, the Bonn Regional Court sentenced Friderichs to a fine of DM 61,500 for tax evasion.

After the reunification of Germany , Dresdner Bank quickly opened new branches in the accession area. In 1991, West Berliner Bank für Handel und Industrie AG was merged with Dresdner Bank. In Dresden in particular, the bank acted as a sponsor, for example in the reconstruction of the Frauenkirche .

In 1995 the bank took over the British investment bank Kleinwort Benson and renamed it Dresdner Kleinwort Benson . By taking over the American investment bank Wasserstein Perella on January 4, 2001, Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein (DrKW) was created as the Group's investment bank.

The German-South American Bank AG Hamburg was renamed Dresdner Bank Latin America AG in 1996 . At the beginning of December 2004, Dresdner Bank announced that it wanted to reorganize its business in Latin America. The private customer business in Latin America with assets of 4.8 billion euros and the 137 employees were to be transferred to the Swiss bank UBS AG in the second quarter of 2005 . The company, which has meanwhile been renamed "Dresdner Latein Amerika AG", still exists.

In 2006 a team of historians published a study that shows that Dresdner Bank was more involved in the Nazi regime than was previously known. Accordingly, it played a key role in the persecution and deportation of Jews and financed the construction of the Auschwitz concentration camp . In addition, the house bank of the SS earned a lot from the eastward expansion of the German Empire during World War II.

Takeover by Allianz and sale to Commerzbank

On July 23, 2001, Dresdner Bank was taken over by Allianz AG for 30.7 billion euros after previous attempts to merge with Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank had failed. As a result of this takeover, there was a considerable reduction in staff. While the bank still had around 51,400 employees in 2000, at the end of 2007 only around 26,300 people were still working for the group. In June 2006 the bank announced a further cut of 2,480 jobs. Furthermore, the investment bank now operates as Dresdner Kleinwort after Bruce Wasserstein left the bank in 2002.

On August 31, 2008, Allianz SE and Commerzbank announced that the supervisory boards of both companies had agreed to sell Dresdner Bank AG to Commerzbank for a total of 9.8 billion euros. The sale should take place in two steps and should be completed by the end of 2009 at the latest.

Commerzbank, which had been smaller for a long time, was able to take over Dresdner Bank because its value had rapidly declined. While the traditional bank with 51,000 employees was still worth 24 billion euros to Allianz, after the asset management subsidiaries dit and dbi were sold to Allianz Global Investors , almost all major industrial holdings, important bank holdings (most recently the Oldenburgische Landesbank ) and almost all real estate (most recently the prestigious Eugen Gutmann House on Pariser Platz in Berlin) worth less than five billion euros. Of the remaining 26,300 employees, an estimated 9,000 were still threatened with layoffs.

The new Commerzbank logo during assembly on the Gallileo

A loss of 6.3 billion euros was generated in the 2008 financial year, primarily in the investment banking sector. However, neither Allianz SE nor Commerzbank reported a loss of 4.1 billion euros in the fourth quarter of 2008. As a result, equity fell from 7.8 to only 2.8 billion euros or just under 4%. At the end of 2008, the equity ratio should have fallen to 3.7%, so that after the takeover by Commerzbank, massive support with equity was necessary.

After the takeover by Commerzbank, the entire nine-member board was dismissed. In return, the Dresdner Bank board members received severance payments of 24 million euros and bonus payments of a further 34 million euros. After the announcement at the end of March 2009, Herbert Walter and some members of the Board of Management announced that they were foregoing severance payments and bonus payments.

The merger of Dresdner Bank with Commerzbank was entered in the commercial register of the Frankfurt am Main local court on May 11, 2009 at 7:32 am .


The branch on Dresden Altmarkt in August 2013

The branches in Bremen were named after Bremer Bank , which merged with Dresdner Bank in 1895. Following the takeover of Dresdner Bank by Commerzbank, the name “Bremer Bank” was given up and replaced by “Commerzbank”. However, for reasons of monument protection, the building still bears the “Bremer Bank” logo.

Dresdner Bank owned an extensive art collection that was shown to the public on the one hand, and part of an investment strategy on the other. Commerzbank, as the new owner of the bank, sold the masterpiece L'Homme qui marche I by Alberto Giacometti from the collection and fetched 65,001,250 pounds sterling - the equivalent of US $ 103 million - one of the highest prices ever for a work of art.

The branch on Altmarkt in the Saxon state capital Dresden is still called Dresdner Bank to protect the brand even after the branch network has been completely renamed .

Subsidiaries in the Dresdner Bank Group

The former Dresdner Bank Group combined some significant subsidiaries:


Max Liebermann : Portrait of Eugen Gutmann, 1907

The spokespersons and chairmen of the board at Dresdner Bank were:

Other well-known board members of Dresdner Bank are:

The chairmen of the supervisory board of Dresdner Bank were:

Visual appearance

The visual appearance with the hexagonal logo was designed by Jürgen Hampel in 1972, the corporate color green was designed by Otl Aicher . All branches were provided with a continuous green band on the facade. The corporate font was Helvetica . In 2001 the appearance was revised and a lighter shade of green was selected as the corporate color. As part of the merger with Commerzbank, the logos were also mixed - the outer shape of the Dresdner hexagon appears in the sun yellow of Commerzbank, with a shadow it is now recognizable as an endless ribbon .

Advertising and public relations

  • A well-known earlier slogan is: "With the green ribbon of sympathy".
  • The "Drumbo" designed by Bernd Diefenbach in 1972, a money box mostly made of plastic or porcelain in the shape of an elephant , is still very popular today . The name is made up of "Dresdner Bank" and " Dumbo ". Drumbo, now in yellow, is being distributed by Commerzbank.
  • Since 1986, sports clubs that are successfully committed to promoting young talent have been awarded the Green Ribbon for exemplary promotion of talent in the club and a cash prize every year .
  • The Dresden Cultural Foundation supports projects in Dresden in the fields of art, music, literature and science. Examples are the KlangNetz Dresden and the Saxon Prize for Democracy .
  • The weather report according to the ZDF- Heute-Journal and the ARD- Tagesthemen was presented by the Dresdner Bank for several years with the advertising slogan: The weather is presented to you by the Dresdner Bank, your advisory bank.
  • Following the takeover of Dresdner Bank by Commerzbank, new commercials were presented from March 25, 2009: Mr. Dreba from Dresdner Bank and Mr. Coba from Commerzbank present the daily weather report. The advertising spots were developed by the advertising agency Scholz & Friends .


  • Dresdner Bank was a member of the Association of German Banks .


Volume 1: Johannes Bähr : The Dresdner Bank in the economy of the Third Reich . Among employees by Ralf Ahrens u. a., Oldenbourg. Munich ISBN 3-486-57759-X .
Volume 2: Dieter Ziegler : The Dresdner Bank and the German Jews . Among employees by Maren Janetzko. Oldenbourg, Munich 2007, ISBN 3-486-57781-6 .
Volume 3: Harald Wixforth: The expansion of Dresdner Bank in Europe . Among employees by Johannes Bähr u. a. Oldenbourg 2006, ISBN 3-486-57782-4 .
Volume 4: Klaus-Dietmar Henke: The Dresdner Bank 1933–1945 - economic rationality, proximity to the regime, complicity . Oldenbourg, Munich 2006, ISBN 3-486-57868-5 .
  • Hans G. Meyen: 120 years of Dresdner Bank: company chronicle 1872 to 1992. Frankfurt am Main 1992.
  • Investigations against the Dresdner Bank OMGUS (Military Government of the United States for Germany, Finance Department, Sect. For Financial Inquiries). Ed. And ed. from the Hamburg Foundation for Social History of the 20th Century through u. a. Karl Heinz Roth . Translated by Ulrike Bischoff. Greno, Nördlingen 1986, ISBN 3-89190-297-2 .
  • Jens Schnauber: The Aryanization of Scala and Plaza. Varieté and Dresdner Bank during the Nazi era. WEIDLER-Buchverlag, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-89693-199-7 .


  • A brown ribbon of sympathy . Documentation, 45 min. A film by Dagmar Christmann and Thomas Rautenberg, production: WDR , first broadcast: March 5, 2004, 00:05 → summary ( memento of March 8, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) by WDR

Web links

Commons : Dresdner Bank  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Dresdner Bank AG: Annual Report 2008 (PDF; 9.1 MB) Retrieved on April 14, 2010 .
  2. Compare the list of the largest banks in Germany from December 30, 2008.
  3. The new brand - one name, one symbol, one bank ( Memento from August 12, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Communication from Commerzbank dated October 28, 2009.
  4. a b Merger with Commerzbank: The name Dresdner Bank should disappear. Agency report . Spiegel Online , September 2, 2008, accessed May 9, 2018 .
  5. ^ Ahrens, Ralf: The Dresdner Bank 1945–1957. Consequences and continuities after the end of the Nazi regime. Munich 2007.
  6. ^ Website of Dresdner Bank Luxembourg ( Memento of March 12, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  7. Annual Report 2000 ( Memento of October 14, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 52 kB) - page 39 top left
  8. Page no longer available , search in web archives: Dresdner Bank: Press release of December 2, 2004@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / www.dresdner-bank.de
  9. Dresdner Bank Latin America transfers private customer business to UBS ( Memento from December 11, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  10. ^ Dresdner Latin America AG - Interim Report as of June 30, 2008
  11. ^ The SS advisory bank. How the Dresdner Bank comes to terms with its past ( memento from January 6, 2009 in the Internet Archive ), MDR -kulturreport, February 19, 2006.
  12. Jörg Eigendorf: Allianz buys Dresdner Bank for 30 billion euros. In: welt.de. March 31, 2001, accessed June 14, 2018 .
  13. Preliminary results of Dresdner Bank heavily burdened by the financial crisis ( Memento from March 3, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  14. faz.net - Opaque balance sheets - Dresdner Bank's loss disappeared on April 27, 2009.
  15. Minimum core capital: Dresdner's capital cushion is dwindling. FTD.de, February 26, 2009, archived from the original on February 28, 2009 ; Retrieved August 15, 2010 .
  16. ^ Handelsblatt, Duesseldorf, Germany: Scandal in the Supervisory Board of Dresdner Bank - Companies - Banks + Insurance. Handelsblatt.com, June 18, 2010, accessed August 15, 2010 .
  17. Der Spiegel - Dresdner Bank boss waives the severance payment from March 28, 2009.
  18. Reuters - Dresdner Bank boss waives severance payments of millions from March 28, 2009.
  19. ^ Handelsblatt - Dresdner Bank: The end of an era of May 11, 2009.
  20. Bremer Bank becomes Commerzbank. In: Weser Courier. March 24, 2010, accessed June 1, 2010 .
  21. ^ Rose-Maria Gropp: Record sum for Giacometti: The victory of the thin man - art - feuilleton. Faz.Net, accessed August 15, 2010 .
  22. Worldwide only branch of Dresdner Bank opened on Altmarkt , Dresdner Latest News online, September 27, 2010 ( online copy ( memento of July 28, 2012 in the web archive archive.today )).
  23. Commerzbank Corporates & Markets and Dresdner Kleinwort united under one name Press release from September 1, 2009.
  24. Media release from Conrad Hinrich Donner Bank of July 31, 2009 ( Memento of the original of July 6, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 36 kB) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.donner-reuschel.de
  25. Page no longer available , search in web archives: press release from Zürcher Kantonalbank of October 27, 2009  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / www.zkb.ch@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / www.zkb.ch  
  26. NDB entry.
  27. ^ Martin Blessing is the new CEO of Dresdner Bank
  28. ^ The Dresdner Bank: Historical Overview. (PDF) Commerzbank, accessed on January 23, 2016 .
  29. Drumbos History - The Commerzbank blog. (No longer available online.) In: blog.commerzbank.de. Archived from the original on April 14, 2016 ; Retrieved on April 14, 2016 (The name of the drumbo designer is in an editorial comment from January 6, 2015.).
  30. ^ Dresden Cultural Foundation
  31. Commerzbank renews weather advertising on ARD and ZDF - Finances, Market & Opinions. Fmm-magazin.de, March 24, 2009, accessed August 15, 2010 .
  32. Review by Mark Spoerer
  33. Review by Christiane Kuller.
  34. ^ Ray Stokes review
  35. Review by Werner Plumpe