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Most Dresdner Kleinwort bankers can’t be bothered to sue

According to Bloomberg, former Dresdner Kleinwort employees are unleashing their fury over Commerzbank’s alleged decision not to pay promised bonuses and to withhold their severance payments, and are taking the bank to court.

There aren’t very many furious Dresdner bankers though. Bloomberg says only eight are going ahead with court cases. They’re all former senior Dresdner Kleinwort bankers and executive committee members.

This seems a bit disappointing. Dresdner Kleinwort has made around 1,200 redundancies and formerly employed around 2,000 staff in London. Many of its employees don’t seem to have received the bonuses they thought they’d been promised, so why aren’t they in court too?

Ronnie Fox of Fox Lawyers tells us most are quietly getting on with life. “Some people have got jobs elsewhere and don’t want to prejudice them by making claims when it’s so hard to find another one. And others are worried about the cost – a case like this will cost 100k+ and it’s not unknown for a large and powerful organization simply to outspend an individual claimant.”

It also seems many ex-Dresdner bankers have been encouraged not to complain by the bank’s refusal to pay generous severance packages unless they signed a compromise agreement first.

One of the 45 Dresdner bankers who joined Evolution in May said he’d signed a severance package and therefore couldn’t talk to us. But he added that there’s a huge difference between what even senior bankers had been promised in bonuses and what executive committee members were supposed to get.

For most DK bankers, suing Commerz just isn’t worth the hassle.

Comments (13)

  1. Face it – most DK bankers have atrophied. Numbed by countless hours of doing nothing and weighed down by the inertia of indolence, just the thought of switching on a PC has become terrifying enough to these people, let alone suing.

  2. No surprise they’re not wasting time and money going to court. They are entirely within their legal right – they have good explicit proof that they were guaranteed / promised bonuses, but in this environment I can’t really see a judge being sympathetic to their cause…

  3. It serves them right for not being good enough to get into a tier-1 bank and thus having to settle for mediocrity. If you’re a monkey you deservedly get paid peanuts.

  4. have Henry and Successful’s comments been mixed up?? Im sure Henry would say what unsuccessful has…

  5. I think Commerzbank should stick a bit placard saying “EPIC FAIL” over every Dresdner logo.

  6. Is Successful the new Henry?

  7. If you think Dresdner was bad then you are likely to feel outright nauseous when you see what the new owners are like. Believe me – DK was tier 2/3 at the best of times but Commerz…. this place is non-league through and though!

    I am actually soon to be ex DK. Did my stint, moving on to a good name (goes to show that not all of us were as cr@p as Henry would have you believe).

    And about taking Commerz to court – well, as pointed out above, plenty of evidence that bonuses were retention bonuses (with it being publicly announced that the pool had been set aside by Allianz to ensure people continued to work) but the imbeciles from Commerz are not worth it. Liken it to some mentally challenged person stealing from you and then justifying it – not worth trying to debate with someone whose capabilities prevent them understanding who you are or what you are saying…

  8. I’m pretty sure about 14 gets you a hearing for non-payment of money owed, not sure if there is a cap but you don’t need a shiny lawyer, just submit the employment contract, a copy of the retention bonus promise and your bank statements showing your salary going in but no bonus payment received and bob’s your uncle.

    I was once advised against suing a former employer as it would cause ‘issues’ forever. I don’t believe that’s true now and I am pretty sure its not reference checkable..

    Lastly, German culture (and the decisions not to pay I am pretty sure were taken in Germany) dictates that suing is not personal, it is business. In Germany it is not unusual to go to a friends house for a party, spill wine on his or her carpet and get a letter from their lawyer a week later asking for 2,000 EUR for a new carpet. It’s nothing personal, its just business, your friend will still invite you to their next party, buy you a beer and slap you on the back like they always did. The average German has 3m EUR per person personal indemnity cover.

  9. gharandoyle, that’s quite fascinating!

  10. i am german and i can confirm gharandoyle speaks the blunt truth..

  11. To SUCCESSFUL – you speak as if you were an utter IDIOT!!!

    Check the background of these ppl before writing – Stefan Guetter – ex MD at ML, Martin Newson – ex CS, etc. Jentzsch did what every other 3rd Tier bank does – i.e. hire some of the BEST from Tier 1 banks and pay them multiples of their gargantuan salaries at their place.

    Maybe you also should consider that once you are close to a top spot, it becomes very uneasy to unseat a successful incumbent – unless you are a backstabbing ****, which is a pre-requisite to succeed at senior levels, apart from being an excellent professional.

    In these situations it is often more elegant to go to another shop.

    Grow up and before you write use your intelligence, which got you in the spot whereever you are.

  12. I used to wander around the 5th Floor at Gresham Street wondering just what all these people did all day. Now I know – they lost money – that’s what they did!

  13. btw for the benefit of the few mugs still left working at top tier ‘bank’ DK, tier is German for ‘animal’. Figures …

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