Germany’s Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing in an annual shareholder meeting said that allowing work from home may reduce costs for the company and boost profitability.

Sewing noted that remote working and video conferencing during the pandemic allowed the bank to spend less on office space and travel.

He said: “If 60% of employees worldwide can work away from their offices and still deliver excellent service to our clients, then, of course, we have to ask ourselves: can we give our staff additional flexibility to work from home if they want to?”

“And if that’s the case, do we need quite so many offices in expensive urban centres?”

As at the end of last year, Deutsche Bank had 88,000 employees in more than 70 countries worldwide.

The agenda of the meeting, which was held online due to the Covid-19 outbreak, was to discuss the bank’s cost-cutting goals since it is said to be in good financial shape.

The Frankfurt-based bank will stick to its last year’s financial goals as its reserves exceeded regulatory requirements, Sewing added.

The bank is planning to cut its cost base to ‎€17bn ($18.6bn) by 2022 from ‎€21.5bn ($23.58bn) last year.

The bank was part of the solution during the Covid-19 crisis, Sewing added. It provided more than ‎€5bn ($5.48bn) in emergency credit across 6,500 applications.

Apart from the remote working strategy, the bank also decided to suspend dividends while it eliminates risky and less profitable businesses and focus on its European client base.