Deutsche Bank CEO: Robots will replace thousands of jobs

Robot hand outstretched

Deutsche Bank's CEO has admitted that robots and automation will likely lead to mass redundancies at the company.

John Cryan warned that a "big number" of staff working at his company will lose their jobs, as reported by The Guardian, adding: "The sad truth for the banking industry is, we wont need as many people as today."

Talking to an audience in Frankfurt, he said: "In our bank we have people doing work like robots. Tomorrow we will have robots behaving like people. It doesn't matter if we as a bank will participate in these changes or not, it is going to happen."

Cryan, who is currently restructuring the business, said accountants who "spend a lot of time basically being an abacus" would be replaced by machines.

Cryan also pointed at automation as a way to improve other jobs. He said it may take accountants three to four weeks to produce an account before they move on the other next one. "Wouldn't it be great, if machines could produce those numbers in just a few hours? Then accountants could analyse the numbers, form valid opinions what those numbers mean and not just produce them," he said.

When talking about how technological change will change banking, the Financial Times reported that the CEO said: "We have to find new ways of employing people and maybe people need to find new ways of spending their time.

"In our banks we have people behaving like robots doing mechanical things, tomorrow we're going to have robots behaving like people."

Cryan added: "We need to admit that what we had is nice but it's not necessarily for the future. We need more revolutionary spirit."

Cryan also highlighted that Frankfurt could benefit from Brexit as it has the regulatory capability, law firms, consultants and an international airport to persuade business away from London.

He stated: "For months there have been discussions regarding which location is set to profit the most once London is no longer within the European Union. I cannot fully understand this debate because as I see it, the race had already been won before it even began."

Cryan said Frankfurt is the only European city which can take on London's business, but it needs "more attractive, urban residential areas, enough international schools and a dozen additional theatres and a few hundred restaurants".

A report released last week found that investors think Brexit will have a negative effect on the value of UK tech firms, but that the long term future has a more positive outlook.

Image source: Bigstock

Zach Marzouk

Zach Marzouk is a former ITPro, CloudPro, and ChannelPro staff writer, covering topics like security, privacy, worker rights, and startups, primarily in the Asia Pacific and the US regions. Zach joined ITPro in 2017 where he was introduced to the world of B2B technology as a junior staff writer, before he returned to Argentina in 2018, working in communications and as a copywriter. In 2021, he made his way back to ITPro as a staff writer during the pandemic, before joining the world of freelance in 2022.