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Business

Germany's Commerzbank facing massive job cuts

Media reports have suggested that Germany's Commerzbank will have to slash thousands of additional jobs to make the lender more profitable again. The cuts will be part of a larger restructuring drive.

Germany's second-largest lender would need to shed some 5,000 positions more, the "Wall Street Journal" reported in its online edition on Friday.

It said the proposed cuts would mainly hit administrative and managerial workers. Germany's "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" had earlier reported that Commerzbank under its new CEO Martin Zielke would even have to slash at least 10,000 positions in addition to the 5,000 jobs the lender had already shed under Zielke's predecessor, Martin Blessing.

Commerzbank was not immediately available for comments, but insiders said the supervisory board would make the details of the cuts public on September 28.

Difficult environment

In quoting its own sources, Reuters said 5,000 jobs would have to go, marking a 10-percent reduction in the lender's overall workforce of roughly 50,000. That would match the dimension of job cuts at Germany's biggest lender, Deutsche Bank, where some 9,000 positions are to be done away with according to current restructuring plans.

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Media reports suggested that streamlining effort at Commerzbank would also include the dissolution of its current banking unit for small and medium-sized companies.

Client companies with an annual turnover of up to 5 million euros ($5.6 million) would be dealt with by the consumer banking division, while larger customers would be taken care of by the lender's investment banking segment, the reports said.

Commerzbank has been struggling to cope with the impact of stricter regulations in the wake of the global financial crisis. In addition, the protracted period of low interests has eaten into the bank's profits.

hg/sgb (AP, Reuters)

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