According to CEO Knof, Commerzbank is making rapid progress with the restructuring of the group. After job cuts and branch closures, however, there could also be “squeaking” in some places.
Commerzbank is making 10,000 job cuts faster than planned.
“We assume that we will have reached agreements with the vast majority of the employees affected by the end of the year. As of mid-June, we already have almost 7,000 individual contractual solutions,” said CEO Manfred Knof of the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” (Saturday).
Knof admits that it is not always possible to immediately replace the retiring employees and the closed branches with new digital services. “With a conversion like ours, it can hardly be avoided that it squeaks in one place or another,” said Knof, who succeeded Martin Zielke in January 2021. The Management Board had set itself the goal of reducing the number of full-time positions from around 39,500 originally to 32,000 by the end of 2024.
Knof welcomed the fact that the European Central Bank (ECB) initiated the turnaround in interest rates. «We are at the beginning of a longer journey, the ECB has announced several measures and steps to fight inflation with higher interest rates. This is necessary now. And that will also be good for us in the future, »said Knof.
Commerzbank also wants to support the transformation of the German economy towards more sustainability. «We have defined extensive guidelines and standards for both our loan and our investment portfolio, which we consistently demand. But as long as there are no uniform guidelines for everyone, there will always be room for interpretation, »said Knof on the danger of greenwashing. He doesn’t know of any corporate customers in Germany who haven’t recognized that sustainability has to be an issue for them.