Riot at financial institution: Commerzbank boss Zielke wants to resign

Bang at Commerzbank: CEO Martin Zielke offers the Supervisory Board his resignation. The committee wants to decide on this next Wednesday.

In the middle of the discussion about the future direction of Commerzbank, CEO Martin Zielke offered his resignation – at the latest by the end of the year. The money house announced on Friday evening in Frankfurt. The Supervisory Board wanted to make a decision at its meeting on July 8, 2020.

Zielke has been CEO of the partially nationalized Commerzbank since May 1, 2016. Chairman of the Supervisory Board Stefan Schmittmann has also announced that he will resign from the Supervisory Board with effect from August 3, 2020.

Recently the criticism of the bank’s course had grown louder. The US financial investor Cerberus had accused Commerzbank management of failure and a failed strategy in two letters. Cerberus is the institute’s second largest shareholder after the federal government with a stake of around five percent. Following the bank’s rescue with tax billions in the 2008/2009 financial crisis, the federal government now holds 15.6 percent of Commerzbank shares.

Austerity measures have been pushed, many jobs are to be cut

New savings plans also cause disputes. An extraordinary meeting of the Supervisory Board scheduled for last Wednesday was canceled at short notice. Employee representatives on the Supervisory Board complained that the management had not submitted important documents to the Supervisory Board in good time.

After a slump in profits in 2019, the Executive Board announced in February that the austerity measures should be pushed again. In September, Commerzbank announced that it would cut 4,300 full-time positions across the Group, but at the same time create 2,000 jobs in strategic areas such as sales, IT and regulation.

This resulted in a reduction of around 2,300 jobs. In addition, the management decided in autumn to close around 200 branches, which means every fifth location in Germany.

Most recently, media reports said that the bank could cut up to 7,000 jobs and close about 400 branches. So far it is unclear whether the figures announced in September are included. At the end of the first quarter of 2020, the bank had around 39,800 employees on a full-time basis.

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