February 8, 2013 / 1:56 PM / 5 years ago

Commerzbank chairman fires warning shot at CEO over goals -paper

FRANKFURT, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Commerzbank’s chairman has fired a shot across the bow of the lender’s chief executive, saying there would be consequences if the bank’s leadership failed to meet its self-imposed goals by 2016 as planned.

Under chief executive Martin Blessing, Germany’s second-biggest lender has embarked on an overhaul to bring it back to health after it was forced to seek a government bailout in the financial crisis, giving Berlin a 25 percent stake.

“One thing is clear: if the board misses its targets without a convincing reason and fails to deliver the performance expected of it, then the supervisory board must act. That is just normal procedure,” supervisory board chairman Klaus-Peter Mueller told Wirtschaftswoche in an interview.

“From the supervisory board’s point of view, it is decisive that the board achieve the goals it has set itself by 2016,” Mueller said.

The most important targets were to make its retail banking business profitable, to secure the bank’s position with corporate clients and to build out its role as an international niche player in investment banking, Mueller said.

Commerzbank’s revamp plan involves the axing of up to 6,000 jobs and a restructuring of around 1,200 branches in Germany, but months of talks with employee representatives are likely before the reshaping of the lender can get underway in earnest. (Reporting by Jonathan Gould; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters)

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