Commerzbank to Ask Investors to Approve Bonus Cap Increase

Commerzbank AG, Germany’s second-largest lender, will ask shareholders to approve an increase to bonus caps for some employees and agree to an overhaul of management board pay at its annual general meeting on April 30.

Shareholders will vote on whether to raise the maximum variable pay of 210 employees to 200 percent of fixed pay, up from 100 percent, according to an invitation to the annual meeting on Friday. The number of employees that the increase applies to can change, the invitation said.

Additionally, the Frankfurt-based bank will ask shareholders to approve changes to its management board compensation system, which includes maximum variable pay of 140 percent of fixed pay for each member. The bank says the move is necessary to comply with European rules and the German Banking Act.

European Union lawmakers capped bonuses in 2013, adopting the world’s toughest rules in a bid to tackle what they called a gambling culture blamed for contributing to the 2008 financial crisis. Last May, Germany’s largest lender, Deutsche Bank AG, won approval from shareholders to lift bonus caps to twice the annual salary for the management board and other employees.

Commerzbank Chief Executive Officer Martin Blessing received a bonus for the first time since 2007, according to the bank’s annual report, released earlier this week. Blessing, 51, will receive 2.67 million euros ($2.9 million) in total compensation for 2014, down from 1.38 million euros the previous year. His base salary will remain unchanged at 1.31 million euros.

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