Commerzbank to exit Hong Kong, Luxembourg; Singapore to handle Asia sales

FRANKFURT (BLOOMBERG) – Commerzbank plans to withdraw from locations including Hong Kong, Luxembourg and Hungary as part of its previously announced restructuring, according to an internal memo seen by Bloomberg.

Asia sales activities will be bundled in Singapore and the Dubai branch will continue to operate as a representative office, it said. In South America, the German lender plans to sell its subsidiary in Brazil and open a representative office.

The number of correspondent banks will be reduced to about 1,300 from about 1,600 globally.

“We have analysed exactly what the key trade corridors for the German economy are,” Nikolaus Giesbert, divisional board member for Institutionals, said according to the memo.

“We will continue to have a strong presence there – in other words, primarily in Europe, Asia and the US. We will also maintain our presence in important regions such as Africa.”

Branches are to be closed in cities including Barcelona, Bratislava and Brussels. Representative offices in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Indonesia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Serbia and Venezuela will also be shut by 2024.

The news of the planned withdrawals was first reported on Sunday by Handelsblatt.

Commerzbank has outlined a major restructuring that includes 10,000 job cuts and announced a 2020 loss of about US$3.5 billion (S$4.65 billion) linked to related costs. The bank’s foreign presence is to drop to fewer than 40 countries from about 50.

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