Commerzbank, Germany’s second-largest bank that has been hit by the coronavirus pandemic and the Wirecard scandal, on Saturday appointed rival lender Deutsche Bank’s Manfred Knof as its new chairman.
The appointment is an attempt to end the turmoil following the resignation of Martin Zielke in early July, following sustained criticism from shareholders over his performance and the bank’s losses.
Knof, 55, was the German distribution manager for Deutsche Bank, but has spent much of his career in the insurance industry, working for German giant Allianz.
The appointment of Knof is subject to the approval of the supervisory authorities.
“Manfred Knof is an experienced and highly effective top manager who has a proven track record in a wide range of roles in the financial services industry,” said Hans-Joerg Vetter, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Commerzbank.
“He brings the necessary expertise and human leadership skills to the tasks that await the bank. ”
The German government owns 16% of the bank’s capital which it bailed out after the 2008 financial crisis.
Commerzbank recorded a loss of 175 million euros on the “single case,” which the Financial Times said were loans to payment provider Wirecard, which collapsed in June in what the German minister for Finances had described it as an unprecedented scandal.
Wirecard filed for insolvency in June after admitting that 1.9 billion euros ($ 2.2 billion) missing from its accounts did not exist.
© 2020 AFP