Deutsche Bank to Reportedly Launch 3 Tech Startup Labs in 2015

Deutsche Bank to Reportedly Launch 3 Tech Startup Labs in 2015
Deutsche Bank aims to launch three technology innovation labs in Berlin, London and Silicon Valley this year designed to accelerate development of so-called "fintech" companies which could aid the banking sector and its clients.

Germany's largest lender, grappling with an overhaul of its own technology infrastructure, aims to get the three operations up and running by the end of the year, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

The bank, which unveiled broad plans in April to overhaul its strategy and modernise its tech infrastructure, hopes to screen some 500 fintech startups per year, with some seeking to develop security, payments, efficiency, organisation or process applications.

A spokesman for Deutsche Bank declined comment.

The move follows similar initiatives by rivals including Swiss bank UBS and Commerzbank to turbo-charge tech developments that will help banks work more efficiently and stay close to clients.

American Express also recently opened a tech lab in Palo Alto, California, to focus on cloud computing and mobile infrastructure.

Deutsche Bank has not set aside a specific sum of money to invest in the firms, the source said, rather it aims to partner with chosen startups by either using the technology itself, fostering development, or perhaps channelling it into clients or other portions of the financial sector, the source said.

Deutsche wants to partner and work with startups, give them feedback on their ideas and find ways to employ their technology, not try to benefit solely from a financial perspective, said the source. "This is primarily about innovation, not investments."

The launch, which comes weeks after board member Henry Ritchotte was named chief digital officer, marks a bigger commitment to developing a field where the banking sector fell behind similar tech advances in manufacturing following the financial crisis.

© Thomson Reuters 2015

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