Location of affected unit(s)
Hamburg, Kiel
Financial Services
Financial And Insurance Activities
Financial Service Activities, Except Insurance And Pension Funding
64.1 - Monetary intermediation

700 - 800 jobs
Number of planned job losses
Job loss
Announcement Date
11 December 2018
Employment effect (start)
1 January 2019
Foreseen end date


The acquisition of HSH Nordbank by a consortium of US investors came into effect in late fall 2018, the consortium announced the cutting of about 300 out of 950 positions in Hamburg and of 500 out 700 positions in Kiel. The Kiel unit will lose its status as one of the two headquarters of the bank and be will soon be renamed "Hamburg Commercial Bank". The time line of the job cuts has not been released yet. 

The Bank emphasizes that some of the cuts were already covered by previous agreements with the Works Council, which envisaged a reduction of the number of posts to 1,600 by mid-2019. The now decided, additional cuts will affect the IT department; and the rescue and privatisation departments which are not needed any longer.

The union Verdi condems the decision. The union demanded an employment and qualification company for the affected workers, in which the states of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein as well as the investors and the bank would have to participate.

HSH Bank is the first public bank that has been privatised and sold to a foreign investor/hedge fund; consequently the case draws considerable attention. The bank was a merger of public banks held by Schelswig Holstein and the state of Hamburg and expected to play a major role on the global financial market, but failed during the financial  and economic crisis. In 2016 the EU Commission approved a public guarantee ceiling under condition that HSH Bank is split and that its operational part is sold without further public aid. In spring 2018 the bank was bought by a consortium of US investors  J.C. Flowers and the hedge fund Cerberus.



Eurofound (2018), HSH Nordbank, Merger/Acquisition in Germany, factsheet number 96322, European Restructuring Monitor. Dublin, https://restructuringeventsprod.azurewebsites.net/restructuring-events/detail/96322.