Monday 22 Apr 2024
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(Feb 27): Artificial intelligence (AI) is likely to replace or at least lend a hand in tasks that take up almost three-quarters of the time bank employees now spend working.

That’s the conclusion of a new analysis by consultancy Accenture, which said banking has the potential to benefit more from the technology than any other industry. Just 27% of employees’ time currently has a low potential of being transformed, according to the analysis.

“There is a reinvention that is happening across banks, a way for firms to step back and re-evaluate ways of working,” Keri Smith, global banking data and AI lead at Accenture, said in an interview.

The release of ChatGPT more than a year ago prompted many firms to boost hiring for AI-related positions and test more uses for generative AI, which can summarise documents, write emails and churn out responses to users’ questions. The world’s biggest banks have been experimenting, spurred by the promise that the technology will boost staffers’ productivity and cut costs.

“Every bank needs to think through their talent strategy, and how to take this technology to scale,” Smith said.

At Citigroup Inc, all 40,000 coders will have the ability to experiment with different AI technologies by the end of March. Analysts at Bank of New York Mellon Corp can wake up two hours later to write their research, because AI technology can create a rough draft and prepare related data for them overnight, chief executive officer Robin Vince said on an earnings call last month.

Banks can boost their productivity by as much as 30% using generative AI over the next three years, according to Accenture.

Bank tellers

Banking at its core is about deposits and lending money, which won’t change, Smith said. Instead, generative AI will either automate or augment work in different ways depending on the roles and tasks. About 60% of the routine tasks performed by bank tellers, whose jobs primarily involve collecting and processing data, could be supported by generative AI, Accenture found.

Loan officer assistants can either retain their role in a smaller existing group, or gain new skills and be moved to a different role elsewhere in the bank, Accenture said.

The consultancy used data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Occupational Information Network to analyse descriptions of 900 jobs across industries in the US. They then drilled in on 2.7 million banking employees as well as the 170 roles and 3,500 tasks they perform. They also looked at financial information from the largest 150 global banks.

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