An executive from one of America’s largest banks recently predicted that half of its tech and operations staff could lose their jobs in the next five years due to the implementation of robotics and automation.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Jaime Forese, the president and chief executive officer of Citi’s institutional clients group warned that the shift could result in the loss of 10,000 jobs.
Citi currently employs 20,000 operational staff, which account for more than 40 percent of the bank’s total employees who are “most fertile for machine processing,” Forese said.
Other banking firms have cited automation as a likely culprit of mass job losses which might be realized in the near future. In 2017, John Cryan of Deutsche Bank suggested that half of the bank’s workforce could be replaced by robots.
The World Economic Forum released a report in 2016 in which it forecast that advances in automation will prompt the loss of more than five million jobs in 15 major developed and emerging economies by 2020.
The job losses attributable to automation are already occurring, according to research by the Finanical Times, which found that 60,000 jobs were overtaken by automation at eight of the top 10 investment banks between 2007 and 2017.
Despite awareness of the trend, Forese’s prediction of potential job losses is more dramatic than those posed in the past.
Richard Gnodde, head of Goldman Sachs International, agreed with Forese, saying “There are so many functions today that technology has already replaced and I don’t see why that journey should end any time soon.”
According to Tim Thorsby, chief of Barclays investment bank, anyone whose job involves “a lot of keyboard-hitting” is “less likely to have a happy future”.