Embattled German bank, Commerzbank, revealed a quarterly loss of €280 million ($320 million), in the midst of its restructuring program. This was more than what investors and analysts expected, thus providing temporary solace. The bank’s third quarter result is a far cry from the €235 million profit it reported the same period last year. The bank believes the losses weren’t as a result of poor performance, but on the “impairment on goodwill”. In a response to the market’s reaction to their restructuring efforts, the chairman of the board of managing directors for Commerzbank, Martin Zielke, said “Commerzbank has a strong market position in corporate banking. We have seen further growth in retail banking and at our Polish subsidiary mBank. These are good prerequisites for the implementation of our Commerzbank 4.0 strategy, which will enable us to sustainably increase our profitability. We are pursuing our growth targets ambitiously, consistently, and forcefully.”
The Chief Financial Officer, Stephan Engels, in an interview with CNBC, revealed that the bank expects to take a few more hits over the next two years as it fine-tunes its program. However, the bank is optimistic of its growth potentials. “The efficiency measures will be booked throughout 2017 and 2018,” he said. “We are growing and we are currently growing our private customer segment both in Germany as well as in Poland. We have gained almost a million net new costumers over the last four years, so that makes us very much believe that we can be successful in this segment.” Operating profits were up to €429 million for the third quarter, much better than the €351 million from the second quarter. However, it was still lower than the €452 million from the same time last year.