Commerzbank plans to cut up to 12 percent of its staff over the next three years.
It is part of attempts by Germany’s second-biggest lender to slash costs and revamp its ailing retail business.
Between 4,000 and 6,000 posts will go.
The final total will be negotiated with unions in talks starting in February.
A workers’ representative called the cuts “dramatic” but Commerzbank’s shares fell as analysts said the layoffs could have been carried out sooner.
“The cuts are not very ambitious. I would have expected them to be carried out faster – until 2016, that is long way off,” said analyst Guido Hoymann from Metzler Securities.
Commerzbank currently employs 56,000 staff at group level, with 49,000 full-time positions.