Germany’s Commerzbank has decided to permanently close 200 branches which were previously closed amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Bloomberg has reported.

The move is part of the lender’s plans, announced last year by departing CEO Martin Zielke, to cut costs by eliminating one-fifth of its branches.

This will allow Commerzbank to achieve its branch closures target three years earlier than the original deadline.

On Friday, the bank notified its staff regarding its latest decision, the report added citing people familiar with the matter.

Commerzbank operates a brick-and-mortar network of 1000 branches.

In the coming weeks, Commerzbank plans to reopen 150 other branches that have been shut down temporarily amid the pandemic.

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This brings the total number of open branches to 600, the Bloomberg report added.

The remaining 200 branches will follow suit later.

Following Zielke’s resignation, Commerzbank’s supervisory board chairman Hans-Joerg Vetter is searching for a new CEO.

Until a new CEO is appointed, Zielke will continue to lead the bank. The decision comes after Commerzbank planned to axe 4,300 positions and cut down its branch network to 800.

In its second-quarter earnings, Commerzbank registered a net income of €220m ($260.66m), down from €279m ($330.5m) in the same quarter last year.

Earlier this month, Commerzbank wrote off €175m ($207m) in bad loans related to the scandal-hit payments company Wirecard.