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6,000 jobs on the line at Commerzbank

Commerzbank says it will overhaul its retail branch network as economic pressures mean clients steer clear of higher margin services.

Commerzbank says it will overhaul its retail branch network as economic pressures mean clients steer clear of higher margin services.

Germany’s second biggest lender, Commerzbank, may cut up to 6,000 jobs, a German paper reported, catching local union officials off guard and pouring more misery on the eurozone’s prospects for a speedy recovery.

Without naming sources German weekly Die Zeit reported yesterday that the job cuts are part of a multi-billion euro cost-cutting programme running until 2016.

The report comes on the same day companies across the region as diverse as telecoms equipment group Ericsson, bank ING, wind turbine maker Vestas and steel group Kloeckner unveiled big job cuts.

Commerzbank, which is set to announce details of its newest strategy revamp at an investor day today, declined to comment on the report.

Labour representatives expressed concern as the Frankfurt-based bank, which is 25 per cent owned by the German State, held a supervisory board meeting ahead of an investor day today.

“We expect the employer to disclose any such plans and to create transparency, as this speculation causes considerable insecurity among our employees,” Beate Mensch, a union official from the Ver.di trade union said in a statement.

The bank, which received an €18 billion bailout in the wake of the financial crisis and collapse of Lehman Brothers, has spent years restructuring as Greek debt write-downs and a slowing eurozone economy crimp its efforts to get back on its feet and build capital to meet new European rules.

After pulling back from shipping finance,commercial real estate and public sector lending, Commerzbank now says it will overhaul its retail branch network as economic pressures mean clients are steering clear of higher margin services.

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