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AI to Create More Disruption and More Opportunity in Financial Services

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Optimized Workforce Finds Fi-Serv AI Investments Will Affect More Workers, in More Ways, Than in Other Industries

Forget taxi drivers and assembly line workers, a larger portion of financial services workers will be exposed to AI at work in 2019  and at deeper levels than in nearly every other U.S. industry, according to findings from a study by Optimized Workforce.

The findings, released in a report available on the think tank’s Web site, titled “AI Opportunity Report 2018: Financial Services Deep Dive” reveal that more than 45% of fi-serv employees already have some exposure to AI on the job today, and an additional 4% will be rolling out AI technology in their departments in 2019. The securities & investments subsector is the most aggressive in its AI investment plans, but the consumer & business banking subsector may see the greatest disruption to its workforce – due both to its size and the degree to which AI can displace jobs.

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“The financial services industry is unique because AI can affect all three elements of its revenue model,” said Craig Desens, an Optimized Workforce adviser. “AI is effective at generating new fi-serv business, effective at automating back-office processes, and in many cases – as with programmatic trading or portfolio management – AI is the product.”

But as disruptive as AI might be, the effects on workers may involve change before they involve job displacement. Nearly 20% of financial service workers surveyed by Optimized Workforce are spending so much time on tasks AI can automate that they are missing key business goals – costing financial services companies money and brand equity. Automating non-core tasks to enable these workers to reach core business goals will benefit employers, workers, and AI vendors.

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Optimized Workforce – a crowd-sourced think tank that studies the intersection of technology and employment – surveyed more than 10,000 U.S. workers to understand the time they spend on specific tasks, the technologies they work with, and the technologies they plan to deploy. The survey sampled workers from 19 of the 20 Census Bureau NAICS codes and all of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ top-level occupational codes.

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