Job fears over a Deutsche Bank merger with Commerzbank

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

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

Mr Stefan Wittmann, a Verdi union representative 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 hard 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. Last summer, 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 Ms 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.

BLOOMBERG

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 21, 2019, with the headline 'Job fears over a Deutsche Bank merger with Commerzbank'. Print Edition | Subscribe