Deutsche Bank boss says 'big number' will be replaced by robots

Deutsche Bank boss says 'big number' will be replaced by robots

John Cryan, chief executive of Deutsche Bank, has told an audience of bankers in Frankfurt that he expects a "big number" of his current staff to be replaced by robots

Cryan said that it was important for the bank to embrace a "revolutionary spirit" and warned that this would mean an end to an era where accountants acted like abacuses.

"We have to find new ways of employing people and maybe people need to find new ways of spending their time,” he said in comments reported by the Financial Times.

Cryan did not elaborate on how many of the bank's 100,000 staff may lose their jobs to a robotic rival, other than to say it would be "a big number".

And he hinted that those accountants acting like abacuses were most at risk. "The truthful answer is we won’t need as many people…In our banks we have people behaving like robots doing mechanical things, tomorrow we’re going to have robots behaving like people."

Cryan's comments come in the middle of a long-running cost-cutting exercise at the bank. In addiiton to overhauling its IT structure, the bank has also announced a number of job cuts and branch closures.

Although, on a more positive note, the Deutsche Bank chief executive did add that the use of new technology and robots would not always be a direct replacement for human staff.

Instead some staff would be "upskilled" and given more interesting work as the more commoditised tasks were entrusted to automation and robots.

Cryan is not the only figure to warn about the possible impact of robotics and artificial intelligence on employment in the banking sector. A 2016 report from the World Economic Forum predicted that auotmation would result in the loss of 5 million jobs by 2020. 

Comments: (2)

João Bohner
João Bohner - Independent Consultant - Carapicuiba 07 September, 2017, 14:39Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Changing humans by robots without re-engineering of business processes, is throwing money and time off!
Also 'shrinking' the bank (... and branch closures ...) thinking of cutting costs is unreasonable.

First of all you need to clean the house and then embark on new technological tools.

See on pg5 of the pdf below how is the DB's 'interior'.
And Deutsche Bank is not alone!

Long ago I have been preaching that Business Architecture for Banks, in order to coexist with new technologies, must abandon the processing by 'lines of business' and adopt the holistic processing 'Corporately'. No more backoffice legacy system, nor DWs, just STP. (yes, it's feasible!).

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 07 September, 2017, 14:41Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Money quote: When people behave like robots, they will be replaced by robots behaving like people.

This is one of the most powerful points to support an affirmative answer to the question I raised in Can Chatbots Replace Humans?