How tech is taking over finance

Overall, as many as 1.7m jobs are expected to be lost as banks digitise operations over the next decade, Citigroup predicted recently.

This focus on technology’s ability to replace human workers in the finance sector, much as robots have taken the place of factory workers for decades, is part of the backdrop to this year’s Davos, which meets amid a continuing international backlash against globalisation in the name of the left-behind.

While last year the official agenda celebrated what the forum dubs “the fourth industrial revolution” — a fusion of technologies “disrupting almost every industry in every country” — this year enthusiasm for such advances is tempered with more discussion at the forum of their social cost.

But, for banks dogged by low margins, automation and technology represent a long-desired chance to boost profitability, even if in the longer term they pose a near-existential threat to the banks’ old way of business.


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