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Lose your job at Commerzbank, or migrate to Eastern Europe?

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Commerzbank is cutting 100 jobs in London and relocating another 340 as it shifts its foreign exchange and interest rate trading business back to Frankfurt. This much we know, as it was reported on Bloomberg.

Only 70 of the 340 migrating roles are actually for traders. 260 are back office roles, primarily in IT. The traders are off to Frankfurt, but sources inside Commerzbank inform us that the IT/back office roles are being dispersed more widely. 130 are going to the German finance centre. A further 100 are off to Central and Eastern Europe. The other 30 are going to Singapore.

Somehow we suspect that ‘relocation’ might end up being a euphemism for ‘parting company with.’ It’s hard to envisage many London-based finance professionals moving to Frankfurt (unless of course they’re German-born). It’s even harder to envisage them moving to Poland or the Czech Republic (some of Commerzbank’s largest offices in Europe).

Commerzbank employees have a fair amount of time to look for other options. The front office jobs will be in Frankfurt by the end of the year, while the back office roles will not be entirely relocated until mid-2016.

There are already signs that senior bankers are departing. According to filings in the Financial Conduct Authority register, Beat Nusbaumer, a managing director and head of FX spot has left, as has Ingo Dechent, a director in the capital markets division. However, Nikolaus Springer, a former executive director at Morgan Stanley, signed up to Commerzbank in December.

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