Stefan Ermisch is surprisingly resigning from his position as CEO of Hamburg Commercial Bank AG (HCOB), formerly HSH Nordbank.

As of October 1, the previous Chief Financial Officer, Ian Banwell, will take over the management of the bank, as announced on Thursday.

"After ten very eventful years in the service of today's Hamburg Commercial Bank, now is the right time to pass the baton as CEO into the hands of my successor," said Ermisch.

He did not give specific reasons for the change.

Bank rescued from heavy seas

After the financial crisis, HSH Nordbank was initially rescued by the state because it speculated on shipping loans.

In 2018, it was the first German Landesbank to be privatized and sold to a consortium led by Cerberus Capital Management and JC Flowers & Co.

Ermisch has served on the board of what is now HCOB since December 2012, initially as chief financial officer, from June 2015 as deputy chief executive officer and from June to September 2015 as acting chief risk officer.

He has been CEO since June 2016.

Ermisch leaves the bank in good condition.

In the first six months, profit before taxes rose to 178 million euros, compared with 168 million euros in the same period last year, as the bank also announced on Thursday.

The forecast for 2022 has been raised slightly.

HCOB now expects a pre-tax profit in excess of EUR 300 million.

She announced that dividends would be included in 2023 for the 2022 financial year.

The outgoing CEO has made it clear in recent months that he expects mergers and acquisitions in the German banking market.

His own house is "prepared" after a remodel to actively or passively participate in the consolidation, he said earlier this year.

At a video conference with journalists on Thursday, which was scheduled for the presentation of the half-year figures, Ermisch did not comment further on the bank's balance sheet and plans.

As justification, he referred to the personnel changes.