Commerzbank considers appeal after court setback over board post

FRANKFURT, April 23 Wed Apr 23, 2014 3:27pm EDT

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FRANKFURT, April 23 (Reuters) - Commerzbank is considering appealing against a Frankfurt court's ruling that the lender's move last year to revoke the management board status of former personnel chief Ulrich Sieber was invalid.

Germany's second-largest lender announced in November that it was cutting the size of its management board to seven members from nine as part of a broader restructuring to cut costs. Sieber challenged the move.

"Commerzbank acknowledges the court's ruling but will consider making an appeal," the lender said in a statement on Wednesday, adding that it remains convinced its action to cut the size of the board was formally correct.

As part of its cost-cutting effort, Commerzbank is shedding 5,200 of its workforce of around 45,000.

"Such a strong decrease cannot just affect employees but must also be reflected by corresponding cuts in management and the board," Commerzbank said in the statement.

Sieber's lawyer, Peter Roelz, told Reuters that the court did not give a justification for its ruling on Tuesday but said the case centred on whether the move to reduce the size of the board constituted "important grounds" for dismissal of his client.

German digital magazine Spiegel Online reported the setback for Commerzbank earlier on Wednesday.

If the court's ruling is upheld, Commerzbank would have to reinstate Sieber, whose contract had been due to run until 2017. (Reporting by Alexander Huebner and Jonathan Gould; Editing by David Goodman)

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