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Bankers take Dresdner bank to court over unpaid bonuses

A group of 72 bankers formerly employed by Dresdner ahead of its acquisition by Commerzbank are today going to the High Court claiming up to £30 million in unpaid bonuses. Six of the 72 bankers in question believe they should have received in excess of £1 million each in bonuses with the highest one said to be around £1.5 million for options trader Jonathan Powell.

While the subject of banker's bonuses is a hot topic at this moment in time the bankers argue there was a £351 million pool set aside by Dresdner to pay bonuses in August 2008. However, in December 2008 they received their bonus figures which were just 10% of their "promised bonuses" and have therefore taken the action to the High Court. Whether the takeover by Commerzbank has any great bearing on this issue is open to debate as ultimately the directors of Dresdner believe the provisional bonus indications were "subject to review" and in December all staff were informed that a formal review would take place in January 2009.

The company argues that due to the profitability of the business and the ongoing economic downturn they felt it necessary to reduce the "provisional" bonus awards although a 90% reduction in some cases does seem fairly dramatic.

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