Beware, finance brothers: AI will come to banking before any other type of work, warns Citigroup

Bad news for the 1%: According to a comprehensive new report from Citigroup, finance is on track to bear the brunt of AI-related displacement.

AI “will profoundly change money,” the 124-page report declares in the introductory paragraph. Sure, it creates “new opportunities for growth and innovation, often improving our overall quality of life,” Citigroup says. But it also “destroys” the of rigor and creates many “losers.”

Wall Street bankers could be chief among them. Nearly 7 in 10 (67%) banking jobs have a “higher potential” to be modified or even completely outsourced by AI, Citigroup wrote, based on data from Accenture and the World Economic Forum. That’s the highest proportion of any job they studied. The next industries are insurance, software and capital markets. (Perhaps unsurprisingly, utilities and natural resources round out the bottom of the list.)

“Traditional adoption of AI in financial services (is) widespread, superficial and inconsequential,” Shameek Kundu, chief strategy officer and head of financial services at AI observability platform TruEra, wrote in the report.

The good news, however, is that the implementation of AI more broadly will greatly benefit banks and financial institutions. It may not even affect the total workforce, once the necessary AI-related management hires are accounted for.

After all, AI is hardly sophisticated enough at this stage to operate independently. A “robot-powered world,” as Citigroup puts it, would still struggle with compliance, data security, and basic ethics, as “AI models are known to hallucinate and create information that does not exist.” It is not a minor business risk.

In fact, AI could add $170 billion to the global banking sector’s profits by 2028. And banks know it, even if they doubt it. Nearly all (93%) of financial institutions that responded to a recent Citi client survey said the adoption of AI would improve their profitability over the next five years, primarily due to its ability to automate routine tasks that human workers face. today, like data entry and the dreaded tasks. Excel files.

Despite the measurable benefit, which many other industries have long adopted, Citigroup predicts that financial services will lag, and that AI adoption will be slow compared to other sectors. They attribute this to the “highly regulated nature” of the sector and the lack of globally agreed rules. “Bankers may think they lead the way,” Citigroup writes, “but many users are adopting technology faster than banks or large companies,” a phenomenon they characterize as “crowds racing ahead of the crown.”

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