June 9, 2020 / 1:14 PM / a month ago

Deutsche Bank sends note of caution to staff as Germany slowly reopens

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Deutsche Bank is pictured on a company's office in London, Britain July 8, 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) has warned employees to exercise vigilance in dealing with the threat of the coronavirus as Europe’s largest economy gradually reopens, according to a staff memo seen by Reuters.

The memo, sent to employees on Friday and seen by Reuters, underscores the cautious approach by Germany’s top lender as some global competitors loosen restrictions.

Germany’s largest bank, which has been encouraging employees to continue to work from home when possible, told staff that strict hygiene rules remain in place. Non-essential travel is still verboten and even private travel is risky, the memo said.

It urged employees to stick to virtual formats for internal and external meetings.

“This helps you plan ahead and avoid unnecessary costs,” wrote Christian Berendes, chief operating officer for Germany.

The bank, which is undergoing an overhaul after five years of losses, is considering potential cost savings drawn from its experience from the COVID-19 crisis. They include less office space as people increasingly work from home, and less travel with more video conferencing.

“Falling infection rates, the nice weather, and increasing life on the streets and in shops can easily lead one to think that the pandemic is behind us. But it is not,” Berendes wrote.

Reporting by Patricia Uhlig; Writing by Tom Sims; Editing by Michael Nienaber

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