Labour reps hold up Commerzbank's bid to trim board: sources

FRANKFURT Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:10am EDT

The logo of Germany's Commerzbank is pictured at the bank's headquarters in Frankfurt May 10, 2013. Picture taken May 10, 2013. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

The logo of Germany's Commerzbank is pictured at the bank's headquarters in Frankfurt May 10, 2013. Picture taken May 10, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Lisi Niesner

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Labour representatives on Commerzbank's (CBKG.DE) supervisory board have delayed an attempt by the German bank to cut the size of its management board by voting against the dismissal of two executives, three sources familiar with the matter said.

The labour representatives, which in Germany are entitled to half the supervisory board seats, voted against the dismissal of personnel chief Ulrich Sieber and Jochen Kloesges, who is responsible for non-core assets, the sources said on Monday.

The Frankfurt-based lender is in the midst of a cost-cutting programme which includes shedding 5,200 of its 45,000 staff. It also plans to reduce its middle management and cut the size of its management board to seven from nine.

Axing management jobs is a logical step given the overall reduction in size of the bank, which is 17-percent owned by the German government. Cross-town rival Deutsche Bank's (DBKGn.DE) management board has only seven members.

Labour representatives, however, argue it makes no sense to grant the two board members high severance payments when they could be made to work for the money, the sources said.

A conciliation committee of the supervisory board will now meet within four weeks. But since it is unlikely to settle the dispute, the chairman may use his right to break a stalemate and make a decision at a subsequent supervisory board meeting, the sources said.

(Reporting by Alexander Huebner; Writing by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Mark Potter)

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