Deutsche Bank told its employees Wednesday it would let them work from home 40% to 60% of the time, going forward, CFO James von Moltke said on Bloomberg Television.
“It'll really be up to the employee, but in a structured way, with the manager,” von Moltke said, adding that the bank’s aim is to know when people are expected to come into work and when remote work is feasible.
Crediting renewed success in its investment banking unit, Germany’s largest lender announced its best quarterly earnings in seven years Wednesday, with a pretax profit of €1.6 billion, or $1.94 billion.
Hybrid work models are becoming more widely accepted in banking as a result of the pandemic, but not every bank is as enthusiastic about the prospect. Citi CEO Jane Fraser last month said most of the bank's employees would work remotely at least three days a week after the pandemic.
By contrast, JPMorgan Chase, which has typically been more aggressive on returning to the office, didn't mention remote work in telling its employees Tuesday to expect to return to the office by early July on a consistent rotational schedule, subject to a 50% occupancy cap.
HSBC CFO Ewen Stevenson, also this week, said his bank “very much” wants to move into a hybrid working environment.
Von Moltke said Deutsche is aiming for flexibility in how often employees will have to work on site once offices fully reopen.
“It's very hard to say, because it's so location-specific,” he told Bloomberg. “We've set rules for ourselves in terms of both what the government’s instructions were and the comfort that we have with our employees. And we're going to execute on those rules over time.”
With the vaccine rollout continuing, the bank sees office reopenings on the horizon. “We expect, in some important locations like London and New York, for that to start over the next several months,” he said.
As for Deutsche's earnngs, both the investment bank and asset management units saw a 23% year-over-year revenue growth, which led the bank's improved performance, von Moltke told CNBC.
“It is too early to comment on the likely impact of our recent performance and the uncontrollable items on 2022, but we remain committed to our strategic and financial targets and ambitions for 2022,” he said. “We have been and will be diligent on risk management, and we'll continue to manage the balance sheet conservatively.”
The bank’s success comes amid a mass restructuring it has been undertaking since 2019. The bank returned to profitability last year, reporting a full-year net profit of more than $137 million.
The bank shared tentative plans in November to reduce its office space. It was even considering letting staff permanently work from home for two days a week, Insider reported.
“We learned some really positive lessons from how we were able to operate in the pandemic,” von Moltke said. “We're in the process of finalizing those plans and articulating them to our employees: how many days really allow them to work remotely.
“We're pleased with the way we've been able to formulate that process,” he added.