Reshaping strategy in times of crisis
: how did the corona crisis affect Commerzbank AG

  • Sophie Isabell Stahr (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


In 2020 the world was confronted with the outbreak of the corona crisis. The following case looks at the banking sector and analyses how a major German bank (Commerzbank AG) has dealt with the crisis. What was the main driver to release a new strategy? Which measures were taken because of the pandemic and which effects would have occurred independently? To answer these questions an analysis is conducted, using several strategic frameworks. This case study follows a pedagogical structure, which aims at providing a profound understanding of how banks may reorientate and adapt their strategies in times of crises. Therefore, a special focus is put on the external environment. Sine the case at hand reflects a real-life example, it is suitable for a wide range of people interested in the finance industry. The output revealed that the bank was already facing several difficulties due to its external environment. Digitalization and cost pressures were impacting Commerzbank AG. Covid-19 emphasized the need for change and not only enhanced the implementation of trends but also lead to a faster execution of the new strategy.
Date of Award2 Jul 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorRicardo Ferreira Reis (Supervisor)


  • Banking industry
  • Crisis
  • Strategy
  • Low interest rate policy
  • Digitalization
  • Customer behavior
  • External environment
  • Dynamic capabilities


  • Mestrado em Gestão e Administração de Empresas

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