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It’s getting messy at Dresdner/Commerzbank

Confusion is in the air in Gresham Street. Fresh from eliminating Dresdner Kleinwort’s European equity research team, it now seems Commerzbank is having second thoughts about paying the guaranteed bonuses it allegedly promised Dresdner staff in order to retain them.

Ronnie Fox, the employment lawyer who appeared in numerous places yesterday warning banks that they’re contractually obliged to pay guarantees, said Commerbank is the primary source of persons concerned that they might not get anything. “The German taxpayer appears to be saying why should we pay the people who ran this bank into the ground,” he said.

A spokesperson for Commerzbank declined to comment on the alleged fracas.

One Dresdner banker said the situation remains confusing: “There’s a lot of speculation and no facts at this stage. Nothing has been communicated to the staff at Dresdner, that’s for sure.”

According to headhunters, senior DKW bankers were offered ‘substantial’ guarantees by Commerzbank in the week before the deal went through. Senior staff who’ve now been let go from the equity research division are among those said to have received guarantees.

When it announced bonuses back in December, Dresdner is also said to have inserted a clause giving it the right to trim bonuses before the payout date if the bank’s performance deteriorated. London bonuses are due to be paid at the end of February.

Charles Ferguson at Ferguson Solicitors says Commerzbank isn’t the only institution trying to evade guarantees. “A lot are coming up with phony charges of misconduct. We’ve had so many new cases recently I hardly know where to turn,” he says.

Comments (7)

  1. “The German taxpayer appears to be saying why should we pay the people who ran this bank into the ground”…

    The German taxpayer having more sense the British taxpayer? Who would have thought.

  2. Hahahahahaha!! Suckers!!

  3. German bank lies to UK staff shocker… I did two years at Commerz London and the bank consistantly failed to deliver on its two promises. Left it to work at Dresdner Frankfurt and what a difference, a culture that ensured that workers got what they were promised enforced by a strong banking union.

  4. Erm you can hardly call bankers “workers” dear ghurandoyle! i think the term was invented for factory people and the likes. Guarantees. hmm that’s a good one. bring in next to no revenue and get paid a whacking big bonus because your bank’s been poached by another and you have a piece of paper that says you can?? Accusations of immoral bankers are starting to run a little true I’m afraid

    bottega Veneta handbag Reply
  5. The letter referred to whether revenues and earnings for November and December 2008 were materially different from forecast, not the bank’s future performance or general condition. The letter was issued on 19 Dec 2008. If Commerzbank decides not to honour the wording, lawyers may indeed have some fun. And so will our competitors who watch this charade play out.

    A Dresdner Kleinwort Employee Reply
  6. As a mere long-suffering shareholder in financial shares, it beats me how employees can expect to receive whopping bonuses when their companies are on the rocks thanks to their irresponsible leveraged speculations.
    We’ve all taken a major haircut in our savings thanks to the casino mentality of banks. So stop griping about your bonuses.

  7. bottega Veneta handbag –

    Where in gharandoyle’s post does he/she mention bankers? Perhaps he/she works in the mail room or in the kitchens? I realise that it is hard for some to understand this but not everyone who works in a Bank is a “banker”.

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