As a precaution against probable power outages, some of Europe’s largest banks are building backup generators and dimming the lights. Banks are stress-testing their ability to cope with power shortages as Russia restricts gas supply to the continent. Banks are also taking apparent efforts to address the energy challenge, such as concentrating employees in fewer buildings and reducing office space.
Deutsche Bank announced a host of energy-saving improvements for its 1,400 German facilities. The bank is turning off hot water in the restrooms, lowering workplace temperatures, and turning off inside branch lighting. Experts are concerned that few businesses are prepared for extended outages lasting more than a few days. BNP Paribas, France’s largest bank, is reducing energy use in its offices and data centers.
European gas prices have surged after Russia’s state-controlled Gazprom said it would indefinitely extend a shutdown to the major Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline. Europe has accused Russia of retaliating by weaponizing energy supplies in response to Western sanctions placed on Moscow since the commencement of hostilities with Ukraine.