If Martin Zielke’s aim was to shock investors, he’s already succeeded. The new boss of struggling Commerzbank unveiled the details of a radical new restructuring plan Thursday morning, confirming Handelsblatt reports from earlier this week that have already made Germany’s second-largest bank a major talking point for days.
It doesn’t get much more ambitions than this: 9,600 jobs will go, out of a total 54,000. That’s nearly one-fifth of the workforce. Dividend payments to shareholders, which were only reinstituted last year for the first time since the financial crisis, will be suspended once again as the restructuring is expected to cost more than €1 billion ($1.12 billion).
“If that’s how it’s really going to be, then it would be a bold move,” said one fund manager ahead of the formal announcement.