Commerzbank is setting the pace with branch closings

Commerzbank branch

For some locations of the institute, the final end is now coming faster than previously thought.

(Photo: REUTERS)

Frankfurt For many branches of the Commerzbank the final end comes sooner than expected. The second largest German commercial bank is not reopening 200 branches that were closed at the beginning of the year due to the corona crisis. According to a spokesman for the institute, the branches concerned are the ones that should have been closed anyway as part of the Commerzbank 5.0 strategy.

However, the closings should originally have extended over a much longer period – until 2023. “It would have made no sense to reopen these branches possibly only for a few months and only then to finally close them,” said the Commerzbank spokesman. “With this decision, we create clarity for our customers.” The employees concerned should move to other locations in the vicinity. The workforce had been informed of the plans.

With this step, Commerzbank is reducing its presence from around 1000 to 800 locations. However, only 460 of these branches are currently open due to the corona pandemic. In the coming weeks, more branches are to be put back into operation, so that the number of branches opened will increase to around 600. The remaining 200 branches are not due to start operating again until later.

However, it remains to be seen whether this will really happen. Because Commerzbank has long been working on plans to close significantly more than the previously announced 200 branches. According to financial circles, the bank could reduce its branch network by up to half. Commerzbank is in the middle of a profound transformation. The institute is working on an ambitious strategy to reduce its costs. As a result, numerous jobs are likely to be lost.

The institute actually wanted to present the new strategy at the beginning of August when the half-yearly figures were presented. Since CEO Martin Zielke resigned at the end of June under pressure from financial investor Cerberus, the bank now wants to appoint a future boss before the strategy is presented. The Bloomberg news agency had first reported on the store closings.

More: A lot of work for the new chief supervisor: These are Commerzbank’s biggest construction sites

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