Investment Banks May Replace 30% of Staff with Automation

Investment Banks

It seems there has been some recent articles saying that automation (robots) may NOT be the threat everyone perceives. BUT WAIT. If you work at a bank a study by McKinsey & Co says 30% of the workplace in the future may be…………gasp……….a machine. So, either get real friendly with your boss or accept a big pay cut and a robot costume.
(Bill Taylor/CEO)

“New technologies are poised to sweep through investment banks, relieving many rank-and-file employees of roughly a third of their current workload, according to McKinsey & Co. The shift, already stoking angst on Wall Street, may take only a few years.

Cognitive technologies — applications or machines that perform tasks once requiring human thought — are now cheap enough that banks can deploy them across operations facilitating trades or other capital-markets business. In a report Thursday, McKinsey said automating tasks will “free up capacity” for staff to focus on higher-value work, such as research, generating new ideas or tending to clients.

“This is really starting to take steam and it’s going to transform the industry over the next two to three years,” Jared Moon, a McKinsey partner who co-wrote the report, said in an interview. The consultants estimate cognitive technologies will free 20 to 30 percent of employees’ capacity in units processing trades….

In finance, automation is becoming a very broad term. The McKinsey report looks at the potential for a number of specific technologies to perform an array of tasks. Here are some of its findings:

  • Machine learning — which uses algorithms to identify patterns in large sets of data — can help sales and trading staffs understand positions faster and predict what flows will look like.
  • Natural language processing can perform legal and regulatory tasks by scanning through records, emails and recordings to translate them into structured data.
  • Cognitive agents can act as in-house personal assistants or service centers; think of help desks for trading staffs that have issues with their systems.
  • Robotic process automation — in which machines handle repetitive tasks — is particularly effective in banks’ middle offices, where it can help with end-of-day valuations and extract data.
  • Smart workflow tools — including document scanning and automated data entry — can speed the process of signing up new clients…”

Source: Bloomberg