Friday 25 September 2020 3:58 pm

Deutsche Bank to change work-from-home policies permanently in bid to reduce office costs

Deutsche Bank is set to make flexible working policies permanent to allow staff to work from home on a set number of days per week.

Like other lenders, Deutsche Bank has discovered during the pandemic that reducing office space could be a viable way to lower costs.

Read more: HSBC, Citi, Goldman and Deutsche Bank pause plans to return to office

Chief executive officer Christian Sewing said the board were working on a “hybrid model” that would allow employees to split their time working between the office and home.

The new policies will provide staff with binding agreements as to how many days can be spent working from, according to Bloomberg.

Other lenders including Mizuho Financial Group and Fifth Third Bancorp also have plans to lower office costs after the pandemic, with executives surprised by how little productivity has been affected.

However, Wall Street giants, JP Morgan, BlackRock and UBS have been more sceptical, claiming productivity will slip if people work remotely for too long and that there is a risk of losing the corporate culture.

Despite calls for a return to the office, a resurgence of coronavirus cases in the UK in particular has led to some partly halting those plans.

Deutsche Bank’s chief financial officer James von Moltke said earlier this week that the lender was being “more aggressive about how we want to use the space, given what we are learning now about the way the workforce will choose to engage and choose to work every day.”

Read more: Deutsche Bank asks 20 per cent of staff to return to London office

He said the bank now sees room to lower the costs of office space having spent 1.7bn euros (£1.55bn) on rent and furniture alone last year.

It comes after the bank gave up two of five floors at an office in Zurich, moved to a cheaper location in London and moved spaces in New York to reduce office space by a third.