Commerzbank’s shareholders may once again have to forego a bonus this year, but not the bank’s boss.
Martin Blessing, the chief executive of Germany’s second-largest bank, will receive a €1.5 million ($1.62 million) bonus for 2014, his first since taking over the bank in 2008, shortly before the outbreak of the global financial crisis.
You could call it a watershed moment for the bank, which has struggled to regain its footing ever since it was bailed out in the aftermath of the financial crisis. The bank remains 17-percent-owned by the German government, though it has paid back government loans that would have prevented Mr. Blessing from getting a bonus in past years.
According to the bank’s annual report, the 51-year-old chief executive was offered, and accepted, variable compensation for the first time in 2014.
It comes after the bank reported annual profits of €264 million for the 2014 fiscal year. Mr. Blessing had always stressed that he would only accept a bonus once Commerzbank’s earnings had returned to the triple-digit millions.
But some are questioning whether the higher profits in 2014 are real.