Commerzbank AG announced today that despite running surpluses for the first three quarters of 2008, it would suffer a €378 million loss for fiscal year 2008, as a result of a €809 million consolidated loss for the fourth quarter of 2008. Growth in private and business deposits in fourth quarter was offset by large losses in the bank’s capital markets and commercial real estate segments. As a result of these numbers, Commerzbank announced that it would pay neither a dividend nor any bonuses (other than contractually required and merit-based bonuses) for 2008.
This announcement comes on the heels of announcements by other financial institutions, such as Royal Bank of Scotland, receiving government assistance that they would also limit bonus and executive pay. Since October, Commerzbank has received approximately €18 billion in government assistance from Germany – roughly equal to a 25% interest.