Commerzbank CEO, board took a pay cut in 2018

FILE PHOTO: Martin Zielke, CEO of Germany’s Commerzbank addresses the media during the bank’s annual news conference in Frankfurt, Germany, February 14, 2019. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Commerzbank’s chief executive officer took a 32 percent pay cut in 2018, according to the bank’s annual report on Wednesday, in sharp contrast to hefty pay increases for the top management at Deutsche Bank.

Commerzbank, which is 15 percent owned by the government after a bailout a decade ago, and Deutsche Bank said last week that they were in talks to merge.

Total compensation for Martin Zielke was 1.97 million euros, down from 2.88 million euros in 2017, while pay for the management board of the German bank declined 24 percent.

Zielke’s pay compared with 7 million euros for Deutsche Bank’s chief Christian Sewing.

Deutsche Bank’s management board received total pay, including bonuses, of 55.7 million euros in 2018, up from 29.8 million euros a year earlier.

The decrease in management pay at Commerzbank comes despite the bank’s 2018 net profit rising to 865 million euros from 128 million a year earlier.

Commerzbank’s annual profit was more than twice the 341 million euros earned by Deutsche Bank.

Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank declined to comment on the pay disparity.

Reporting by Tom Sims, Hans Seidenstuecker and Arno Schuetze; editing by Thomas Seythal and Kirsten Donovan

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