Financial Services Technology Special Report 2018

Issue link: https://raconteur.uberflip.com/i/943362

Contents of this Issue


Page 0 of 7

18 / 02 / 2018 INDEPENDENT PUBLICATION BY #0501 RACONTEUR.NET almost non-existent. So it is little wonder the robots are taking over. But there are some false assumptions be- ing made. Gartner found that by 2019 RPA could have hampered top-line growth for 50 per cent of organisations focused on cutting costs when they needed to look at the bigger picture of the psychological impact. Walter Price, head of Allianz Global In- vestors' technology team, has been in- vesting in the sector for more than 40 years. Effectively, scenarios fall into two camps: companies delivering the automa- tion solutions and those whose roles are being automated, he says. Placing the human aspect at the heart of the process and not just looking at the bottom line will set companies apart, says Mr Price. "There is quite a difference between the companies that manage the progression and redeployment of their people, and see Keeping up with the march of the robots Automation may pose a threat to jobs, but it also puts an added psychological pressure on staff who have to keep pace with the robots I f you are experiencing stress and frus- tration buying a home, to hear that a loan application could take as little as three seconds will make you question your choice of lender. Such was the example given by Atom Bank of the fastest decision it was able to make for a customer. "The whole thing has been set up with customer choice in mind," says Stewart Bromley, chief operating officer at Atom. "Because we started as a fully automated, self-service bank, there's no change pro- cess to manage." Yet many fi nancial institutions are not that lucky and signifi cant job threats hang over central business districts the world over. McKinsey issued a report last year that suggested as many as 800 million roles would be displaced by robotic process au- tomation (RPA) by 2030. But what is RPA exactly? Leslie Will- cocks, professor of technology, work and globalisation at the London School of Economics' Department of Management, describes it as taking the robot out of the human. "RPA is a type of software that mimics the activity of a human being in carrying out a task within a process," he says. "It can do repetitive stuff more quickly, accu- rately and tirelessly than humans, freeing them to do other tasks requiring human strengths, such as emotional intelligence, reasoning, judgment and interaction with the customer." In a world where we make payments with our watches and a dulcet-toned fe- male called Alexa gets more attention from husbands than wives do, our capaci- ty for even the slightest delay has become TIM COOPER Award-winning freelance financial journalist, he writes regularly for publications including The Spectator, London Evening Standard, Guardian Weekly and Weekly Telegraph. IAN FRASER Author of Shredded: Inside R BS, The Bank That Broke Britain, he was business editor at The Sunday Times in Scotland. CHARLES ORTON-JONES Award-winning journalist, he was editor-at-large of LondonlovesBusiness. com and editor of EuroBusiness. SARAH RUNDELL Former producer in the BBC's Business and Economics Unit, and reporter for Dow Jones Newswires, she covers investment, global trade, business and corporate treasury. SAM SHAW Formerly an editor at FT Business, she is now a freelance writer on a range of topics, including business, fi nance, marketing and technology.. SAM SHAW it is not just about reducing costs. Over the long term, those companies gaining in ascendancy are the ones trying to and focus on their employees as their most im- portant asset." And as ever, with technology there is rarely a return journey and in financial services even less so. "On Wall Street, RPA is already wide- ly adopted. You had very sophisticated clerical jobs where traders were highly compensated. Now as price discovery has become easier with automated systems, disclosure of trading is very easy to do," says Mr Price. Anxiety caused by the perceived threat of robots needs addressing; management could be nervous over how to implement changes or employees, perhaps older and more set in their ways, could be wonder- ing if they are still relevant. Often concerns are exaggerated. Virtusa is a global technology consultancy that works in the banking sector, where Bob Graham is global solutions head for banking. He says it is rarely an "all or nothing" scenario; perhaps on tasks that had al- ready been outsourced to a cheaper off- shore centre, for example. "We are seeing some of those tasks com- ing back in-house, where the robots are taking over the tasks and incumbent staff will manage the robots," says Mr Graham. Also, rather than entire roles being au- tomated, it is more likely that, say, 10 per cent of a job may be given to a robot, free- ing up employees to take on more interest- ing, strategic or challenging work, he says. In marrying finance and technology cultures together, Monica Mendiratta, a chartered business psychologist working in financial services, says culture, dress code, creativity and ability to adapt are some of the key differences that have characterised various sectors. She says companies that first acknowledge and then embrace these differences are best placed to succeed. "In the tech industry, people are quite comfortable with the idea of failure," Ms Mendiratta points out. "We need to spell out these differences before we approach scenarios, open a dialogue and identify our unifying goals. It is not so much a cure [for culture clash] but a diagnosis." She highlights how the pace of change is key, exacerbating the fear of adoption. Sam Fuller, founder and director at The Wellbeing Project, believes pace of change is one thing, but the ability of the employ- ees to cope with that change is quite anoth- er, and relies on training and recruitment. "My generation used to say there were peaks and troughs in our working day, and we could always recover," says Ms Fuller. "Now all our clients say it's all peaks, and we have to build in those times when we can recalibrate and refresh in order to have an attitude like that." But while technology may help opera- tionally, the hindrance might be the cor- responding psychological impact, even though the millennial generation may handle the "always-on" or automated work culture better than their predecessors. "Although we criticise millennials for always having their phone on, in terms of work they have adapted in being able to step back and calibrate," says Ms Fuller. "I think the challenge employers have is how to accommodate millennials and recognise they will need to step back, and how that benefits healthy performance and their health, wellbeing, creativity and innovation if they're not working out of threat, and completely switched on and exhausted." But are financial services firms so pre- occupied with capitalism and the bottom line that any psychological impact is sim- ply ignored? Professional business coach Mark Mulli- gan, who runs Thriving London, says it is more a matter of priorities. He concludes: "If you look at what is happening in the workplace as a process, organisations need to work out what they can automate, how it will work and if is it financially viable before they can begin to work out the possible psychological im- pact on their people." Distributed in Publishing manager John Okell Digital content executive Elise Ngobi Head of production Justyna O'Connell Design Grant Chapman Kellie Jerrard Samuele Motta Production editor Benjamin Chiou Managing editor Peter Archer Research partner CONTRIBUTORS Banking jobs under threat from automation Number of people employed in the banking sector = 100k jobs 2015 2015 US Bureau of Labor Statistics/Citi Research 2017 Although this publication is funded through advertising and sponsorship, all editorial is without bias and sponsored features are clearly labelled. For an upcoming schedule, partnership inquiries or feedback, please call +44 (0)20 3877 3800 or email info@raconteur.net. Raconteur is a leading pub- lisher of special-interest content and research. Its publications and articles cover a wide range of topics, including business, fi nance, sustainability, healthcare, lifestyle and technology. Raconteur special reports are published exclusively in The Times and The Sunday Times as well as online at raconteur.net. The information contained in this publication has been obtained from sources the Proprietors believe to be correct. However, no legal liability can be accepted for any errors. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the prior consent of the Publisher. © Raconteur Media /fi nancial-services- technology-2018 @raconteur /raconteur.net @raconteur_london Organisations focused on cutting costs when they needed to look at the bigger picture of the psychological impact 800m jobs could be displaced by robotic process automation worldwide by 2030 McKinsey FINANCIAL SERVICES TECHNOLOGY FIVE TOP CENTRES OF FINTECH INNOVATION FREEING UP SUPPLY AND TRADE FINANCE 07 05 WHY OPEN BANKING IS A REAL REVOLUTION 08 WORKPLACE CULTURE Head of design Tim Whitlock OSCAR WILLIAMS-GRUT Senior reporter for Business Insider UK and fi ntech specialist, he worked for the London Evening Standard and The Independent as a stock market reporter. United States Europe 2.9m 2.6m 2025 2025 1.8m 1.8m jobs lost from automation by 2025 jobs lost from automation by 2025 1.1m 800k

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Raconteur - Financial Services Technology Special Report 2018