3/18, 9:06 AM (Source: TeleTrader)
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Union boss: Bank merger to put 20,000 jobs at risk

Frank Bsirske, chairman of trade union Verdi and a member of the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Bank AG, said the negotiations about creating a megabank may be "intensive" and "highly controversial." In remarks published on Monday by Stuttgarter Zeitung and the Stuttgarter Nachrichten, he said a merger with Commerzbank AG would make no sense and that the two entities aren't complementary. Bsirske expressed concern that such a deal would put 20,000 or more people at risk of losing their job.

Verdi has pointed to overlaps instead of potential synergies, especially in the commercial and corporate client business. However, regulators brushed off the notion but they did raise the issue of a projected increase in systemic risk. The union's head insisted that its representatives must participate in the discussions. In Bsirske's view, an international transaction would be more favorable.

Information leaked to the media from the talks has pointed to a scenario where Deutsche Bank would acquire its smaller troubled rival. Speculation has emerged that Minister of Finance Olaf Scholz signed off on possible job cuts. Consumer protection organizations warned a united lender would lift prices and reduce the variety of services.

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