Commerzbank is accelerating its restructuring. The group, which has linked job reduction plans since 2016, could announce 7,000 new cuts, in addition to the 4,300 already announced at the last autonomous. According to the newspaper Börsen-Zeitung, the bank could also plan the closing of 400 branches, instead of the 200 planned in September, out of a total of a thousand branches. All by 2023.
If the bank refused to confirm this announcement, it should indeed be proposed to the group’s supervisory board. “Different options and scenarios are currently being studied. No decision has been made yet,” said a spokesperson.
In the sight of an activist fund
The bank suffered greatly from the environment of very low interest rates and saw its valuation melt in a few years, like its competitor Deutsch Bank. The two entities had attempted to merge in 2019 without success.
Since Commerzbank tries to find a new breath. But a new player has come to accelerate this restructuring. In 2017, the American activist fund Cerberus became the second shareholder of the bank (behind the German state and its 15%) with 5% of the capital.
Cerberus recently cracked a letter to the supervisory board demanding changes, saying that Commerzbank has lost almost 60% of its value in just three years. Commerzbank is today valued at 4.9 billion euros on the stock market. The fund mainly claimed two seats on the board, without success.
The bank rejected the requests but these new cuts thus seem intended to calm the slingshot and meet the requirements of the Americans.
In 2016, Commerzbank already announced a plan to reduce 9,600 jobs by 2020, already completed.