Deutsche Bank is creating a new technology division in a strategy shift designed to reduce complexity and lower costs while transforming systems that have held back the bank for years. The German lender’s legacy IT systems have been blamed in part for the bank’s failure to control costs and for its slow progress in keeping up with the wave of fintech innovation across the industry.
Technology has long been a problem for Deutsche Bank. Former chief exec John Cryan complained in 2015 about “lousy systems” and “very slow processes”, and former operations chief Kim Hammonds last year described Deutsche as “vastly complex” and the “most dysfunctional” workplace she has known. The central technology division announced on Monday will oversee tech security, data and innovation functions among others, the bank said in a note to employees seen by Reuters.
“At its heart, our technology strategy empowers our businesses to control ‘what’ is produced, while technology has control of the ‘how’. In the past, the ‘how’ offered too much optionality and did not consistently follow group-wide architecture and tooling,” it said. The lender also established a board-level Technology, Data and Innovation Committee in May and has vowed to invest 13 billion euros ($14.2 billion) in technology by 2022.
In its note to staff, Deutsche Bank also said that moving systems to the cloud would not happen overnight, meaning it would continue to invest in legacy infrastructure on which it operates today.