Commerzbank Booking $550 Million First Quarter Charges for Cuts

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Commerzbank AG is booking an expense of 470 million euros ($553 million) in the first quarter after reaching an agreement with the works council on 1,700 job cuts.

The agreed headcount reduction will happen through a voluntary program that will conclude by the end of the year, the bank said in a statement on Thursday.

The program is “an important step in the necessary headcount reduction,” human resources head Sabine Schmittroth said. “We are quickly providing instruments that will already reduce the cost base in the coming year.”

The new measure is part of a multi-year cost-cutting effort unveiled in February by Chief Executive Officer Manfred Knof. He has vowed to cut 10,000 positions in Germany to boost profitability.

The restructuring costs of 470 million euros also include some expenses for cuts in Commerzbank’s foreign operations and its real estate footprint, it said. The lender had previously said it will spend about 1.8 billion euros on the costs of its turnaround strategy, and the latest expenses bring the total already booked to about 1.4 billion euros.

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