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Banking

Commerzbank eyes job cull to trim costs

Germany's second-largest lender Commerzbank is reportedly planning major job cuts in a bid to streamline its operations. But the exact scope of the layoffs still has to be negotiated with trade unions.

The "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" newspaper reported on Friday that Germany's partly state-owned Commerzbank was considering axing between 4,000 and 6,500 jobs in the near future.

The "Wall Street Journal" spoke of 18 percent of the current workforce facing the prospect of being made redundant, but both sources emphasized the scope of the layoffs would still had to be negotiated with unions next month.

Talks of massive job cuts first surfaced in November of last year when the country's second-biggest lender announced a major campaign to reduce costs and focus on core and profitable sectors.

Looking for more efficiency

Commerzbank said it planned to save about 1.0 billion euros ($1.34 billion) by 2016. Recent restructuring efforts had already helped the lender to return to positive territory.

In the third quarter of 2012 the bank logged a net profit of 78 million euros, up from a loss of 687 million euros in the same period a year earlier.

Commerzbank had said earlier it was not interested in expanding its network of some 1,200 offices across the country, but noted it would invest more in cranking up its struggling online and conventional private customer business.

hg/ipj (AFP, Reuters, dpa)