The British boss of Germany’s largest bank has warned that a large number of his staff could be replaced by robots as the financial services industry adapts to technology that will allow many jobs done by humans to be automated.
John Cryan, chief executive of Deutsche Bank, told a conference in Frankfurt yesterday that the lender would have to encourage a revolutionary spirit that could end with a significant proportion of its 100,000 staff losing their jobs or being redeployed to new roles.
“The truthful answer is we don’t need as many people . . . In our bank, we have people behaving like robots doing mechanical things; tomorrow we’re going to have robots behaving like people,” Mr Cryan said, in comments reported by theFinancial Times. “We need to admit that what we had is nice but it’s not necessarily for the future. We need more revolutionary spirit.”
Mr Cryan’s remarks are likely to cause concern in London, where the bank employs more than 7,000 staff in its investment banking business.
Deutsche Bank is based in Frankfurt and Mr Cryan told his audience in the German city that it was the obvious winner from Brexit, with financial institutions relocating staff to the EU.
“There is only one European city which can fulfil these requirements and that city is Frankfurt . . . It’s not about a choice between Dublin, Paris or Frankfurt, it’s about a choice between New York, Singapore or Frankfurt. Brexit could become a large stimulus package for Frankfurt’s economy,” he said.