Marcus Schenck, one of the most senior executives at Deutsche Bank, believes that bank accounts as we know them now could disappear in as little as five years.
Schenck, who is co-head of corporate and investment banking at the German lender, told Bloomberg’s European Capital Markets Forum that a recent trip to China had opened his eyes to the fact that the retail banking sector is ripe for disruption from new technologies.
Asked by an audience member how he and fellow panel members — Barclays CEO Jes Staley and Societe General Chairman Lorenzo Bini Smaghi — were preparing for technological disruption, Schenck told an anecdote about visiting a company manufacturing computer chips.
“The week before last I was in China, and saw a company that is producing microchips that are used for bitcoin mining, or any type of blockchain technology,” he said.
“There’s a thesis that at some stage in 5, 10, 15, 20 years — who knows — accounts will disappear, and be replaced.”
“That would be a game changer to what we’re doing,” Schenck said, adding that financial firms “have to monitor what’s happening.”
Schenck’s argument concerns the creation of individual wallets for cryptocurrencies — whereby people are able to store their money digitally but without the need for a third party like a bank. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency wallets are already widespread, but many believe their usage could spread even more rapidly in the future as cryptocurrencies themselves are more widely used.