Commerzbank to Cut Most Jobs in German Branches, Union Says

Commerzbank AG, which announced the biggest overhaul since its 2008 bailout last month, plans to make most of the announced job cuts in its German branches, according to a letter by German labor union Verdi.

About 3,000 jobs will be eliminated at the lender’s branch network in Germany, according to the letter seen by Bloomberg. Another 1,900 jobs will be cut outside of Germany and at Commerzbank’s subsidiaries.

A Commerzbank spokesman confirmed that the management and the works council have held in talks on Monday over the job cuts, but declined to comment on them specifically. The news was reported earlier by Boersen Zeitung.

Commerzbank plans to cut a total of 9,600 positions until 2020, or about one in five jobs, suspend dividends and shrink securities trading by selling parts of the business such as the equity-markets business. After that, it will consider eliminating another 3,000 jobs, according to the letter. The spokesman also wouldn’t comment on those plans.

Germany’s second-largest bank has also said it will hire 2,300 employees to advance its digitalization process. When the revamp is completed, Commerzbank will be no bigger than it was before its 2008 acquisition of Dresdner Bank.

Commerzbank has said its branch network in Germany is key to its strategy to add 2 million new clients by 2020, double its earlier target. To help achieve that, Chief Executive Officer Martin Zielke, 53, is keeping the bank’s approximately 1,000 branches in Germany despite the planned job cuts.  

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