Deutsche Bank: Redefining the finance profession

Caroline Liow, Singapore Investment Bank Operations Head for Deutsche Bank, speaks about its strong focus on technology.
By: | September 23, 2019

Deutsche Bank has been in the news for the wrong reasons this year, after it announced widescale job cuts across the company. But the 18,000 jobs that will be lost are to be phased in over a number of years, and Asia won’t be bearing the brunt of them. After Deutsche Bank made its announcement, other banks followed suit highlighting the challenges they face with the current turbulent economic landscape.

Rather than shun the media, Deutsche Bank sat down with HRM Asia to explain how it is tackling digital transformation and preparing staff across the region for the future.

Can you tell us more about the digital transformation happening within Deutsche Bank?

The Digital Revolution is transforming every industry rapidly and has wider implications on our lives and work than ever. Deutsche Bank sees the digital gap and critical need to accelerate and transform to succeed in the new environment. We have embarked on a journey to drive this change inside-out, embracing innovation and increasing our technology quotient.

How are you gearing staff up for this transformation?

As more intelligent machines enter into the workplace – the demand of work has taken a new dimension. Infrastructure, workplace skills, and productivity are key differentiating factors in the next decade. Client demands and behaviours are becoming more sophisticated and as service providers, we need to meet and exceed the new expectations. This is the genesis of BOOST (Build, Own. Operate, Share and Transform) – where we inspire our teams to embrace new skills and rise up to the challenge to redefine the banking profession, and create a new value proposition for our clients.

Can you tell us more about the pilot scheme in Singapore?

While digitalisation impacts all areas of the bank, we focused on the Operations Division for the BOOST pilot program. This is a pilot in Singapore involving 25 employees from different parts of Operations. There are 3 key aspects of the program – 1. Building and equipping employees with a digital toolkit of new skills like Agile Thinking, Coding, Data Analytics and Design Thinking skills. 2. Empowering employees to own and drive the transformation at the workplace 3. Operating differently and embedding the new skills in their everyday job, and sharing with the community to create greater momentum.

Do you work closely with fintech companies or have your own in-house capabilities for innovation?

Deutsche Bank has its network of Innovation Labs which evaluates and support the adoption of emerging technologies. Innovation Labs in Berlin, London, New York, Palo Alto and Singapore, work across all business and infrastructure units to uncover high priority internal technology challenges that can be solved by emerging technologies.

How is artificial intelligence being used/planned within the bank?

This is already used in various divisions like Trading and Control divisions and there is a continuous improvement plan to incorporate more new technologies into the digital ecosystems within the Bank. Some of the work that is already underway are in sandbox testing and various ongoing projects using machine learning, bots, and client analytics that will help transform our client service capabilities, reduce the cost of expensive manual processes, and build scale and improve productivity in documentation landscape, among other things.