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When it comes to automating some of the banks ‘tedious activities, it’s not as simple as just ending a grumpy job (‘ Automation will not end the groundwork of banks ‘,’ FT View, September 20). It’s true that banks are facing a perfect storm – with an increase in demand and increase in M&A transactions, a war for talent and the pandemic that sheds light on both employee behavior and the well-being. Does this acceleration have automation? Absolutely.
But I would argue that it can not simply be seen as automating simple tasks, when in fact it is about greater transformation that holds greater benefits. Simplification of process and repetition paves the way for talent to spend time doing more innovative and enjoyable work, while unleashing savings that can be invested elsewhere in the business.
Banks will also be able to create and connect more data insights for exploring new products and services, new ways to reach customers and even build markets outside the field of financial services. This exploration of new markets is in fact the key for banks in serving their customers across the industry, many of whom have undergone an overhaul of their business models due to trends highlighted in the pandemic.
Just as automation can abandon the young bankers of certain tasks, the space for human ingenuity and innovation is constantly growing, based on data, insight and efficiency created by technology.
However, simplifying processes is not just about unleashing savings to invest elsewhere. It’s about the chance to win a war on talent by giving workers the opportunity to do more purposeful, innovative and enjoyable work. If banks do not see it that way, the attractiveness of technology and private investment firms is luring away talent.
The key is to shift the debate of whether automation will be the silver bullet to end a ‘grunt’ job for bankers and use the perfect storm caused by the pandemic to think about how digital transformation by values can be supported, not just value.
Head of Capital Markets, Accenture UK & Ireland, London EC3, UK