Deutsche Bank merger with Commerzbank puts 10,000 Frankfurt jobs at risk

A sign at an ATM of Commerzbank next to the headquarters of Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt, Germany, on March 19, 2019.
A sign at an ATM of Commerzbank next to the headquarters of Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt, Germany, on March 19, 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS

FRANKFURT (BLOOMBERG) - London's Brexit exodus was supposed to boost the number of finance jobs in Frankfurt. Now, a potential merger between Deutsche Bank AG and Commerzbank AG puts the gains at risk.

"In Frankfurt alone, between 4,000 and 5,000 jobs could be cut in a merger," said Stephan Szukalski, head of the DBV union and a member of Deutsche Bank's supervisory board.

Stefan Wittmann, a Verdi union representative who is on Commerzbank's supervisory board, even sees between 8,000 and 10,000 jobs in Frankfurt in danger. "This is the result of a preliminary analysis that we have made", he told Bloomberg.

Job cuts of this magnitude would probably be difficult to be offset by positions which are relocated from London to Frankfurt, according to a survey conducted by Bloomberg this week.

Lobby group Frankfurt Main Finance, for example, sees 10,000 new jobs in Frankfurt due to Brexit in case of an orderly Brexit. Frankfurt-based lender Helaba expects 8,000 added positions over the years, while the Association of Foreign Banks in Germany puts the estimate at 3,000 to 5,000 new jobs.

According to Deutsche Bundesbank, the number of employees at banks in Frankfurt has remained almost constant in recent years. In the summer of 2018, it stood at 63,100.

"Our current forecast for the end of 2020 sees a total of 65,000 employees. This includes two developments: On the one hand, a positive Brexit effect and, on the other, continued consolidation of the banks in Frankfurt", said Gertrud Traud, chief economist of Helaba. "However, this does not take into account any major merger."

Spokesmen for Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank declined to comment.