Deutsche Bank has unveiled plans to open three tech innovations labs in Europe and America, including one in London.

It was rumoured last year that the German lender would create innovation labs with support from tech vendors, and this has now been confirmed with  Deutsche Bank Labs opening by the end of 2015, partnering with technology firms to contribute resources and expertise. This includes outsourcing firm HCL in London, Microsoft in Berlin and IBM in Silicon Valley. 

Deutsche Bank will partner with startups and academic insitutions to foster innovation. Image: Flickr/Elliot Brown
Deutsche Bank will partner with startups and academic insitutions to foster innovation. Image: Flickr/Elliot Brown

The labs are aimed to helping the financial giant create and deploy new technologies to help enhance its products, services and processes. The initiative will involve creating ties with the startup community, and Deutsche Bank expects to evaluate more than 500 startups each year.

Deutsche Bank staff will also engage with academic institutions to help evaluate new technologies, before trialling and developing within the innovation lab.

“Technology is transforming banking and innovation is one of Deutsche Bank’s core values,” said Henry Ritchotte, chief operating officer and chief digital officer of Deutsche Bank. 

“These labs will act as a bridge between start-ups and different parts of the Bank, enabling it to apply innovative technology to enhance service to clients and internal processes.”

The creation of the innovation centres are part of the bank’s wider investment in digital products and services, and recently claimed it would invest €1 billion over five years to support its aims. 

The bank is in a period of transformation and has overhauled its senior technology team in the past 12 months with a string of hires. This includes Kim Hammonds joining from Boeing as CIO, Scott Marcar as head of IT infrastructure, and, most recently, JP Rangaswami as chief data officer.

Earlier this year Deutsche Bank announced it has signed a 10-year outsourcing deal with HP that will see the German lender move to an private cloud platform in a bid to standardise systems and reduce operating costs. It has also completed a major overhaul of core banking systems in recent years, replacing its legacy systems with an SAP platform. 

Deutsche Bank is one of many banks which are shifting their focus to digitisation in the face of new competition. This has often meant looking externally to smaller and more agile start-ups, with the likes of Barclays and Santander creating accelerators and launching investment funds to bring them closer to these innovative companies.