June 11, 2020 / 3:07 PM / 2 months ago

Beleaguered Commerzbank CEO underscores focus on cost cuts

FILE PHOTO: Martin Zielke, CEO of Germany's Commerzbank AG attends the Commerzbank AG annual results news conference in Frankfurt, Germany, February 13, 2020. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Commerzbank (CBKG.DE), under fire from a top investor for its strategy and leadership, is focused on cutting costs, the German lender’s chief executive said on Thursday.

The remarks are the first by CEO Martin Zielke since activist investor Cerberus this week launched a public campaign for change at Germany’s second-biggest bank.

Zielke, speaking at an online conference, made no mention of Cerberus, but the investor has pointed to a bloated cost structure as among its main grievances.

“We continue to work on cost management where we see additional potential beyond current plans,” Zielke said.

Some investors are calling on Commerzbank to pare back its extensive branch network.

Zielke reiterated the bank would present additional savings measures when it releases earnings for the second quarter in August.

Reporting by Tom Sims; Editing by Edward Taylor and Mark Potter

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