Justin discovers how much IT is needed to run a bank.

Reviewing 4.5 million transactions, identifying anomalies early on and fighting financial crime from the start is a challenge that can only be tackled with sophisticated technology. The team responsible for this is Sanctions & Embargos, where Justin is completing his practical training. Hotscan is used to check each individual payment transaction against what are known as ‘embargo lists’. These list the vessels, individuals and goods that the bank is prohibited from doing business with. If violations are reported, the transactions in question are manually reviewed. As a trainee, Justin is already playing an active role in this process by helping his team to identify potential sources of error at an early stage and continually optimise the software. The team discusses its ongoing tasks in a stand-up call each morning and distributes them – both in its standard process and in testing. Technology, Data and Innovation at Deutsche Bank is a global function with the majority of communication being conducted in English. It’s an open working environment where everyone can communicate their ideas and observations from the outset.

Without technology, the bank would barely function

“I think it's so interesting to get a direct insight into what are extremely important security-related processes for the bank and to contribute personally to their ongoing development,” said Justin, who also applied to work at other companies after leaving school. “It was the atmosphere and discussions at the bank's assessment day that really hit home with me. Before I joined, I had no idea how much IT is involved in running a bank, because most of it happens behind the scenes.”

Having always enjoyed programming, Justin chose an apprenticeship programme with a focus on application development. “In IT, there are often many ways to achieve a goal. One particular benefit of the training for me is that I get to try things out myself and find my own solutions.”

Identifying and immediately implementing opportunities for improvements

One example of this is the Code-It Day regularly hosted by the Tech team in Frankfurt. The day is dedicated to addressing all of the issues that cannot be tackled during a typical day. On Code-It Day, any member of the team can make suggestions for improvements or propose ideas to optimise everyday processes and work with other employees to make them a reality. Justin and two of his colleagues focused on programming an application to automatically renew the bank’s external employees within the system, covering aspects such as email addresses, access to software associated with their roles, and salary payments. After starting the project on Code-It Day, the team was then able to dedicate an additional day each week to completing it. Already Justin’s team’s solution is in use; automating a task which previously had to be done manually. This is a great example of how small digital innovations can make everyday life easier and how important it is to create an engineering culture without barriers. The lesson here is not just to have ideas, but to make them a reality.

Fit for the future

“So much is happening here right now, and global developments relating to the coronavirus crisis are giving digital projects an even bigger boost at the moment,” said Justin, who also provides regular updates on his training via the bank's Schüler-Karriere channel on Instagram. “I’m already looking forward to all the other new projects I can get involved with.”