Commerzbank: The dream of a large branch bank is stalled

Commerzbank wanted to maintain its presence in the country for years, to maintain its very large branch network. We quickly forget that the once proud Dresdner Bank, one of the four largest German banks, was absorbed by Commerzbank, so to speak, and its branch network became part of the CoBa branch network. That’s why CoBa still has so many branches today. But that’s over now. A week ago, Commerzbank announced that a major restructuring programme was imminent. The pressure on the entire industry is simply too great for CoBa to resist.

Branches and then all the employees in the branches, that just costs too much money? Now CoBa has published the final confirmation of its new “Commerzbank 5.0” concept. Among other things, the previously independent subsidiary Comdirect will be integrated. A good 200 branches will also be discontinued. There will still be 800 branches left. But was this the last wave of closures? You probably shouldn’t bet on that. Quote Commerzbank:

In the Private and Corporate Customers segment, Commerzbank is focusing above all on the rapid expansion of mobile banking. At the same time, the branch network remains a firm pillar of the customer offering. With around 800 branches in the future, Commerzbank will continue to offer a broad presence across the country. The bank expects additional earnings potential from the increased use of data, which enables individually tailored products and services. In future, Commerzbank will also price services in a more differentiated way. With the planned integration of ComDirect, the bank is bundling its digital competencies.

Here are the final details on the layoffs:

As part of the strategic programme, the Bank will invest a total of around EUR 1.6 billion in digitalisation and in further improving its cost efficiency. EUR 750 million of this will be used as additional funds for digitisation, IT infrastructure and growth. The remaining 850 million Euros are attributable to restructuring costs for the planned reduction of gross 4,300 and net 2,300 full-time positions. As well as for the announced adjustments in the branch network. With the planned sale of the majority interest in mBank S.A. (“mBank”) in Poland, the Bank intends to generate the funds that will enable the strategy to be implemented more quickly and the associated investments to be made.

These were only the two most important parts of Commerzbank’s restructuring. You can read the entire report with all its details by clicking here. Commerzbank’s share price falls by 1.6% today.

The CoBa-Tower in Frankfurt. Photo: © Commerzbank AG CC BY-SA 3.0 de
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