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Commerzbank confirms losses, eyes profits in 2021

By AFP - Feb 11,2021 - Last updated at Feb 11,2021

BERLIN — Germany's second-largest lender Commerzbank said on Thursday it hopes to return to an operating profit in 2021 after the pandemic and a major restructuring led to a 2.9 billion euro net loss in 2020.
 
In a statement releasing its full earnings for the past year, Commerzbank said it was aiming for a positive operating result in 2021, after booking an operating loss of 233 million euros ($282 million) in 2020. 
 
It added that it planned to raise its operating profits to around 2.7 billion euros by 2024, and resume dividend payments from 2023. 
 
In last week's preliminary results, Commerzbank announced its first annual loss since the global financial crisis of 2009, as well as a dramatic restructuring strategy for the next four years.
 
The raft of measures aims to reduce costs by around 1.4 billion euros by 2024 compared with 2020, and includes cutting around 10,000 jobs and shutting 340 of its 790 branches in Germany.
 
The bank said it aimed to complete 80 per cent of the planned job cuts by 2023, while also creating 2,500 new positions as it looked to reduce its dependence on external providers.
 
"We want to be sustainably profitable and shape our own destiny as an independent force in the German banking market," said Manfred Knof, chairman of the board of managing directors.
 
Like other banks, Commerzbank's earnings have been pummelled by years of ultra-low interest rates.
 
The German government still holds a nearly 16-per cent stake in the bank which it bailed out during the 2008-2009 financial crisis.
 
 
 
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