FILE PHOTO: Outside view of Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank on Friday offered differing accounts of who initiated merger talks, disclosing a rift between the two banks a day after their talks ended in failure.

Commerzbank approached the larger Deutsche Bank about a potential merger, a senior Deutsche Bank executive said, an overture that kicked off six weeks of intensive and frantic but ultimately fruitless talks.

It was the first indication of which bank had initiated talks between Germany’s top lenders. The executive spoke on condition of anonymity to journalists on a media call.

However, a spokeswoman for Commerzbank denied that version of events. The talks “started jointly and they