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Deutsche Bank's CEO says technology will be key to banking in the next five years

John Cryan
Thomas Lohnes | Getty Images
John Cryan

The CEO of the largest German lender has underlined the dramatic shifts that the banking industry faces over the next five years with technology due to play a "key" role in this period of change.

"We are placing our bets on technology," John Cryan, the chief executive officer of Deutsche Bank, said Tuesday at a Bloomberg hosted panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

"We're not sure that the fundamental nature of products will change much, although regulation tends to impact that. We don't think the demands of our clients and counterparts will change much, it's the delivery mechanism," he added.

The panel - which also featured economics professor Kenneth Rogoff and David Rubenstein, co-founder of The Carlyle Group, discussed the rise of financial technology (fintech) and included predictions that virtual currencies could be used by global central banks.

Cryan said that technology would aid banks and "help us protect ourselves".

"We can use technology to improve our own controls. We can use technology to improve our efficiency and then we can use technology to improve the customer service," he said.

He explained that regulation can largely confirm and keep the status quo but added that "against regulation we try to be innovative." One example he gave was the jobs market where the bank has developed new employment contracts for working with younger people.

Shares of Deutsche Bank have seen a tumultuous few months, and the bank yet to officially settle with the U.S. Department of Justice after it was asked to pay $14 billion relating to its issuance and underwriting of residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS).

Also on Tuesday morning, Cryan said that asset prices would fall if the European Central Bank withdraw its bond-buying program but also lamented the effects that U.S. quantitative easing had had on fixed income.

He said that U.S. buying by the Federal Reserve had deprived banks of "clean market price discovery." He added that once the price of U.S. Treasurys had been distorted then it distorts all prices and "we don't have proper asset allocation."

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