Accountants to be edged out by robots, says DB CEO

Deutsche Bank chief executive John Cryan says work now done by qualified accountants could soon be carried out by robots.

Cryan told a Frankfurt gathering: “In our bank we have people doing work like robots. Tomorrow we will have robots behaving like people. It doesn’t matter if we as a bank will participate in these changes or not, it is going to happen.”

Deutsche Bank is currently undergoing a restructuring programme led by Cryan, who joined the bank in 2015. Deutsche Bank employs 100,000 people around the world.

Cryan joins other senior banking figures to predict the impact of automation on the profession. Andy Haldane, chief economist at the Bank of England, has said up to 15m jobs are at risk in Britain from the rise of the robot. The former chief executive of Barclays Antony Jenkins has described technology as “an unstoppable force” giving banking an “Uber moment” of disruption.

Automation could lead to better productivity, as accountants are freed from number-crunching to focus on more analytical roles that contribute to strategic direction. However, critics say that automation undermines the market by increasing unemployment, so there are fewer consumers able to buy the products made by robots.

Cryan also said that Frankfurt is set to receive a banking boost from Brexit. The banker said the German city has the regulatory capacity, law firms, consultants and airport capacity to take business from the City of London. Around 4,000 of Deutsche Bank’s 9,000 London-based staff are said to be preparing to move to the city after Brexit.

US recruiting firm CTParners agrees to acquire German rival Farin & Co

US executive recruiter CTPartners Executive Search Inc (NYSEAMEX:CTP) said it had put its signature on a letter of intent (LoI) for the purchase of German-based peer Farin & Company.

CTPartners offered no information with regard to pricing arrangements between the parties or any other deal specifics such as conditions and timeframe for closure.

The target company is headquartered in Hamburg and focuses on executive recruitment, development and corporate learning. It was founded in 2010 by Annika Farin, who was a partner in a major multi-national headhunting firm before establishing her own company.

Farin will be put in charge of CTPartners’ German operations and made managing partner at the group. According to her, CTPartners has an unrivalled global platform and by becoming part of it, Farin & Company will be able to extend its reach and address the growing needs of its customers.

CTPartners’ chief executive Brian Sullivan stated that both companies were committed to quality and it was an exciting opportunity to have the dedicated and experienced team of Farin & Company on board.

The US firm has been in business for more than three decades and has customers all over the world. Its corporate headquarters are located in New York and it also operates 24 offices across 15 countries. CTPartners employs more than 400 people, serving clients in industries such as financial services, life sciences, retail, technology, media and telecommunications.

Women bear the brunt of unemployment

Out of 28,000 people that lost their jobs between November and January, 22,000 were women.

That means a staggering eight out of ten workers to lose their jobs were female.

The latest employment statistics show a worrying trend where women are the hardest hit by unemployment.

The number of women accepting part-time work because they could not secure full-time employment is at its highest level for twenty years.

The amount of women claiming job seekers allowance is also at its highest for 17 years, reaching 531,000.

The number of women on jobseekers allowance has more than doubled since the credit crunch in August 2007 when the number stood at 228,000.

Liam Byrne, Labour’s work and pensions spokesman, said: ‘The surge in women’s unemployment is reaching shocking levels.’

Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison, said: ‘Women are still being hit hardest by job losses.

‘It is shameful to see that not only are women bearing the brunt of the recession, they are unemployed in record numbers and are hardest hit by the cuts to public services and jobs.’

The figures published by the Office for National Statistics this week show that older females are suffering more so than younger women.

The number of women between the ages of 50 and 64 are at record levels, with 148,000 women job hunting.

Network Rail staff face the sack if they live 75mins away from headquarters

A union has claimed that Network Rail staff are being threatened with redundancy if they live further than 75 minutes travelling time from the new Milton Keynes headquarters.

According to the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association, rail managers have been told they must get to the new multi-million pound site within 90 minutes – which is located next to Milton Keynes railway station.

The TSSA announced that 850 members of staff could face redundancy if failed to reach the Buckinghamshire base on time.

However Network Rail revealed that they only expected 150 members of staff to face problems meeting the latest regulation.

Rail offices from around the country will be brought together into the new Milton Keynes site, housing around 3,000 staff. Whereas Network Rails’ head office will remain in London.

Manuel Cortes, the TSSA general secretary said: “This is an unfair and arbitrary decision which we believe to be unlawful. They are telling their staff they cannot follow their jobs in the worst recession in 70 years.

“With unemployment heading towards three million, where else are they going to find work in these hard times?”

Mr Cortes has warned Network Rail of legal action in order to defend its members right to move to Milton Keynes. “We are hoping that Network Rail will start to see sense on this issue”.

A spokesman for Network Rail said: “We are pulling together dozens of offices from around the country into one national centre at Milton Keynes that will deliver a better, more efficient way or working and save the taxpayers tens of millions of pounds a year.

“Around 150 people are affected by the travel limits, but we hope they will choose to stay with the company and be a part of our plans to deliver a bigger, better railway in the years ahead”.

Article by Charlotte Greenhalgh

Carphone Warehouse to close UK Best Buy Stores

Carphone Warehouse have announced that 11 of their Best Buy consumer electronics stores will be closing. This is less than two years after they opened.


Stores will be axed across the southeast and Midlands with the likely loss of around 1,100 jobs. The company had hoped to create 8,000 jobs and open stores throughout the UK and Europe.


Charles Dunstone the founder of Carphone Warehouse is in line for a substantial windfall as he prepares to sell the mobile phone retailer’s US business for up to £1billion.


The British retailer owns a 50 per cent stake in the joint venture, with a value between £620 and£1billion.


Shareholders are expected to receive a portion of the proceeds made in the form of a special dividend.


In partnership with Best Buy, 11 warehouse-sized stores were opened in Britain two years ago as a predecessor to 100 outlets around Europe. However following a strategic review of the ‘Big Box’ shops, which are set to lose a staggering £80million this year, they will be closed.


Stores are located in Aintree, Bristol, Croydon, Derby, Enfield, Hayes, Hedge End, Merry Hill, Nottingham, Rotherham and Thurrock.


This information comes following results published by accountants BDO, which shown that non-food high street sales dropped by 3 per cent in October compared to the previous year’s figures.


Non-store sales including Internet and catalogue orders however were up to 20.7 per cent compared to last October. This information shows a further rise in online shopping which has hit high street retail badly.


Best Buy Europe was formed in 2008 when the company spent £1.1billion in a deal with Carphone Warehouse to buy 50 per cent of their retail shops, launching their own branded stores across the UK.


However the company’s problem is an example of a wider crisis of consumer confidence that has swept the high street.


This move has meant other electronic retailers such as Comet and Argos are continually under pressure following the drawback on customers buying big-ticket items or choosing to shop online.


By Charlotte Greenhalgh