back to article Deutsche Bank seeks options as sanctions threaten Russian dev unit

International trade sanctions threaten to cut off Deutsche Bank from its near-shore IT support and software development unit in Russia following the invasion of Ukraine. The global bank's Russian technology centre employs around 1,500 staff, including software developers and systems maintenance experts who work on its global …

  1. iron Silver badge

    > Russian technology centre employs around 1,500 staff, including software developers

    > "We have no code and no data housed in the Russia tech centre."

    Bullshit. Where you have devs they have a local copy of the code.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Perhaps they just have 1500devs filling in TPS reports

    2. Phones Sheridan Bronze badge

      > "We have no code and no data housed in the Russia tech centre."

      And while we're at it, could I sell you one of the bridges in London?

    3. BOFH in Training Bronze badge

      Exactly, either they have the full code for whatever they working on, or at least the code for whichever component they working on.

      Either way they have code. No such thing as a developer if said developer can't access any code.

    4. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      They are trying to split hairs. The code in use is probably hosted somewhere else so they can be technically accurate for operations. But for support and development the code wranglers will have a local copy of what they need which may be a full copy of the code in production.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > > "We have no code and no data housed in the Russia tech centre."

      > Bullshit. Where you have devs they have a local copy of the code.

      Yeah. I suspect what they meant was "We have no code running in the Russia tech centre." i.e. prod is in Germany somewhere. Still doesn't get them out their hole though. :-)

    6. Steve Channell

      Citrix and Wyse terminals

      No developers in DB have desktops, everything is virtualized

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Where you have devs they have a local copy of the code

      Not necessarily? The code I work on is only stored on a remote machine; I connect to that machine to open and edit the files, but the files stay there, and everything is compiled on the remote machine. It's rather like working on a Google Docs. The file is, at least technically, never on my machine.

    8. macjules

      I see they are now advertising for developers to be located in Birmingham. Don't know about you but I think it is a bit cruel on the sanctions to make people relocate to Birmingham,

    9. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      My experience is that all Deutsche Bank devs work on Citrix virtual desktops, so even when checked out the code stays on the servers.

      edit: ninjad by Steve Channell

  2. BOFH in Training Bronze badge

    Slightly related note

    During the Boeing MAX airplane crashes, wasnt it mentioned somewhere that Boeing has people in Russia doing development work for the aircraft?

    I imagine there are many big organisations with development / IT departments (or even other departments) in Russia. Wonder how they all plan to handle this with the sanctions in place now.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Slightly related note

      Wait, really? So MCAS was possibly not an accident?

      Bad jokes aside, WTF? Why on Earth would you outsource to a nation with which your home country has at best an uncomfortable relation with?

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Slightly related note

        It was cheap. Was. The overall cost has just changed.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Slightly related note

          Still, I question the decision to have code developed for airplanes by a nation in possible military contention when there was that particular incident on the September the 11th 2001, but maybe that's just my background talking.

          A decade or so ago making the very suggestion could have your clearance stripped..

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Slightly related note

          As the Chinese proverb goes:

          "What is free (or in this case cheap) often proves to be the most expensive."

      2. BOFH in Training Bronze badge

        Re: Slightly related note

        I don't think most of the "elites" / rich have much loyalty to a "home country".

        They do and go where the money is.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Slightly related note

          They do and go where the money is.

          Would that not be "They do and go where their money is"?

          Most of these places always seem to have very good weather.

          1. Anon
            Flame

            Re: Slightly related note

            It appears that good weather means chaos and destruction to some people with a lot of money. Them having the money just means that other people don't have it, so spreading misery for them to gloat over.

          2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

            Re: Slightly related note

            Most of these places always seem to have very good weather.

            I suppose London has very good weather if you compare it to say Moscow or Saint Petersburg. Yes, that must be the reason.

      3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Slightly related note

        >Wait, really? So MCAS was possibly not an accident?

        MCAS was made by Raytheon. Of course that just moves the conspiracy up a level

        >Bad jokes aside, WTF? Why on Earth would you outsource to a nation with which your home country has at best an uncomfortable relation with?

        1, It's cheap

        2, Countries require you to build a certain proportion there to get favorable import duties

      4. Muppet Boss

        Re: Slightly related note

        >Bad jokes aside, WTF? Why on Earth would you outsource to a nation with which your home country has at best an uncomfortable relation with?

        It happens all the time. While the politicians hate each up the .., the businesses seek better value. At a time having software R&D in Russia, Ukraine or Belarus offered fantastic returns. Things changed too quickly now, we'll see research centres and key developers being evacuated to Europe as already happened in 2014.

        The Russian government understands the risk of brain drain and dropped corporate income tax to 0% for the next 3 years for IT companies, advertises subsidized mortgage for IT specialists. I expect there will be a lot of fakers shortly and yet another exodus wave of qualified IT people.

        To clarify any misunderstanding, by now any form of peaceful protest is criminalized in Russia with retroactive law. When people stay silent it does not mean they support the government, it means they are victims too.

    2. innominatus

      Re: Slightly related note

      or, sadly, Ukraine based dev teams

  3. alain williams Silver badge

    'fast-track "knowledge transfer" from developers in Russia'

    In other words "not everything is documented". This is monumentally stupid ... although commonly happens but no one speaks about it :-(

    1. Dinanziame Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: 'fast-track "knowledge transfer" from developers in Russia'

      Has it ever happened to you that you started at a new job, and you were immediately as productive as the guy who had worked there for ten years? Yeah, me either.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Fast-track knowledge transfer" requires the turkeys to vote for Christmas

      When I read the bit about "fast-track knowledge transfer" my immediate thought was... so, they're relying on the goodwill of the Russian employees whose knowledge (i.e. job security) is being transferred in the first place. And given that they likely understand full well why this is being done, and that they'll likely soon be out of a job once the process is complete, what incentive do *they* have to cooperate?

      Not saying this shouldn't be done (quite the opposite) nor defending the Russian state (ditto), just pointing out that DB seem to be in a position where they're reliant upon turkeys voting for Christmas knowing full well the consequences.

      Then again, we shouldn't have much sympathy for Deutsche Bank, given that they've been *very* happy in the past to get their hands dirty with Russian money from dubious sources others wouldn't touch. (Which of course includes a certain ex-US president who was- and is- no doubt up to his neck in that).

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    AC for obvious reasons.

    I have worked with a number of guys (and they were exclusively guys) in DB's Russian operation and they were the smart ones herding the less than smart or independent, cheaper drones in other off-shore locations. Without these guys DB will have real problems - it's not just traditional devs but lots of level 2 and 3 ops people too.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well, it's not like DB doesn't have a history in making bad choices. One of their customers is an orange chap with a ferret on his head who sued them when they had the temerity to ask their money back after a loan and whose entire business life is now under a microsocope for a whole raft of issues..

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Paris Hilton

        You take that back! That's all his own hair. And it's lovely! It's the greatest hair!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Really? Then why does he need to wear a MAGA hat to stop it from escaping?

          :)

        2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          >That's all his own hair

          It was, now it's collateral on a loan some Russians

          1. 2+2=5 Silver badge
            Joke

            Trumplestiltskin - so financially astute he was able to spin his own hair into gold!

      2. Lars Silver badge
        Coat

        One of their customers

        Try a search on "Deutsche Bank and Trump" for more on that.

        But I have found there are people who believe the bank is the German "Bank of England".

        Looking at what Wikipedia has on the bank we find this right at the beginning.

        " Not to be confused with Deutsche Bundesbank, Deutsche Postbank, or Deutsche Bahn.".

        I suppose people could make the same mistake with "The Bank of America" too.

        More quotes.

        " According to the New Yorker, Deutsche Bank has long had an "abject" reputation among major banks, as it has been involved in major scandals across different issue areas.[5]".

        It is a big bank.

        "Since 2012, Deutsche Bank had paid more than €12 billion for litigation, including a deal with U.S. mortgage-finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.[121]"

        Well connected perhaps also to the British government with Sajid Javid a Chief executives of Deutsche Bank (2007–2009).

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: One of their customers

          To be honest the whole German banking system has a bad reputation.

          There are lots of hardworking German savers who put the money in the bank, the banks all want to play at doing Wall St stuff like London does, so you get tiny local banks suddenly being invited to play poker with the big boys. Somehow it all gets funnelled through DB.

          Germany's financial regulator also has a very lenient attitude to German banks - if they are doing stuff with foreigners that's an export and anything to do with exports must be supported at all costs.

      3. LDS Silver badge

        Yes, it's good Russia didn't have a cloud business or I bet Germans would have put their whole business data there also because it was cheaper and Putin promised them to be a good friendly chap, ask Schroeder for references.

  5. Justthefacts Silver badge

    Why would “no code stored in Russia” be sufficient?

    DB have already admitted they don’t have the technical knowledge of the codebase outside Russia. In other words, no technical oversight at the code level. So, you’d have to assume some patriotic Russian would have installed a backdoor in the code years ago. It doesn’t need to be explicit - just comment out the sanitisation of some strategic input, or initialise key randomisation from a source without entropy, and job done.

    Muppets.

    1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

      Re: Why would “no code stored in Russia” be sufficient?

      or have some Russian stock get a very specific value to have all the systems crash at the same time...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Hey guys? Where's the best place for us to locate our core DevOps resource?"

    "Oh, I don't know. Is there some actively hostile dictatorship well know for staging cyber-warfare attacks and with deep links between it's corporations and the state? Probably there."

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      So London then ?

  7. Abominator

    Its okay. All the other developers are in China and India.

  8. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Bespoke systems

    It really seems like, when you have a large, complex system that is also bespoke, that it'd be a REALLY good idea to have IT, development, and operations in-house*. Forget whether they're Russian or not, you could have a domestic firm still go bankrupt or something and you'd be SOL having it all outsourced to them too.

    Well, good luck to ya! Hopefully that cross-training goes quick enough!

    *Not to say the physical servers must be in-house, do cloud if you want, but the people operating that it's probably good to have in-house.

    1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

      Re: Bespoke systems

      Then you'll have first to fire all the management people (and any other people with a MBA) to do that...

  9. Steve Channell
    Mushroom

    Bloody stupid PR

    Let’s be honest (we’re among friends), this is just a bloody stupid comment by some stupid muppet in the PR department: DB is no more exposed than any other financial institution.

    What’s concerning is the apparent lack of “adult” supervision - what they really meant to say is “we have some resources in Moscow that are [insert excuse that matches visa criteria] critical, and like to get them out quick”.

    1. Justthefacts Silver badge

      Re: Bloody stupid PR

      “No more exposed than other financial institutions”?

      Can you give some examples of other banks with core dev resource in Russia? Genuine question.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bloody stupid PR

        Any company that uses Fujitsu has an outsourcer has probably devs in Russia.

        (but they are ready to move their Russian teams to Serbia if you want)

        1. Justthefacts Silver badge

          Re: Bloody stupid PR

          Ugg. Well, hopefully everyone will learn some lessons about supply chains…..

      2. Steve Channell

        Re: Bloody stupid PR

        Anybody that used Luxsoft had similar exposure.. but the "No more exposed than other financial institutions” eluded to institutions with centres in Kiev - that closed over night

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022