Commerzbank gives up fight with bankers


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The Independent Online

The German banking giant Commerzbank yesterday finally gave up its four-year legal war with 104 London investment bankers who have been fighting for €52m (£44m) in unpaid bonuses.

The victorious bankers are now expected to receive the cash within weeks, with several in line for close to £1m each.

Commerzbank and its lawyers, Linklaters, decided to halt the battle a week after losing in the Court of Appeal, which ruled unanimously to uphold an earlier High Court verdict that found the bankers were entitled to their bonuses.

The German bank could have considered an appeal to the Supreme Court, but admitted “the prospects of success” were limited and “would unnecessarily expend resources”.

Commerzbank argued it was “reasonable” to slash the bankers’ bonuses in early 2009 because of the credit crunch and huge losses.

But the bankers argued it had made a commitment to pay and it was contractual, not provisional.