Deutsche Bank is pulling a Silicon Valley move and unleashing its code onto Wall Street

Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan attends the bank's annual general meeting in Frankfurt, Germany May 18, 2017.

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Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan attends the bank’s annual general meeting in Frankfurt, Germany May 18, 2017.
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REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

Deutsche Bank is pulling a Silicon Valley move.

The German bank, which is one of the last big financial firms based in the historic heart of New York finance near Wall Street, announced on Wednesday it will open a large swath of computer code for one of its platforms to the public.

“The bank will put over 150,000 lines of code from its award-winning electronic platform Autobahn into the public domain so that trading applications from different providers can use it as a shared foundation and work seamlessly with each other,” the bank said in a press release on the news.

Deutsche Bank’s Autobahn platform provides users access to a slew of tools to help execute trades across asset classes. The code, according to the bank, will also be integrated into Symphony, the self-described “email killer.”

Symphony is like Slack for banks. It allows traders and other people working in highly regulated environments to benefit from enterprise encryption and security while they chat online, either through text or voice.

Many of its backers, including Deutsche Bank, got behind the company to put pressure on the monopoly of Bloomberg, which charges its users more than $20,000 per year for a subscription to its signature terminal. In a way, the partnership with Deutsche Bank provides Symphony with another tool in its tool bag to rival Bloomberg.

Making applications and platforms open to the public for use or modification – commonly referred to as open-sourced – is common among Silicon Valley firms, but rare on Wall Street, where firms are much more protective of their proprietary information and technology. As such, the move by Deutsche Bank indicates a broader trend of Wall Street firms trying to become more like tech companies.

Deutsche Bank itself has taken a number of steps to up the ante on tech.

In March, the bank appointed a new group chief information officer, Pascal Boillat. Around the same time, it said it would “align certain parts of its technology and other overhead functions to its business divisions to increase accountability and reduce costs.”

In March, the bank also rolled out the red carpet for fintech startups to innovate within its ecosystem with a new innovation lab in New York City.

The new lab was firm’s fourth innovation lab and facilitates exploration into “new technologies focused on several areas including artificial intelligence, cloud technology and cyber security,” according to a news release.

Deutsche Bank isn’t the only bank heading in this direction. Goldman Sachs is gunning to be the Google of Wall Street, making some of its software open-source, and is hiring heavily in technology.