Automation ‘Bots’ could reduce 100K bank jobs

  • 100,000 bank jobs could be lost for automation, says a Wells Fargo report.
  • MD Mike Mayo told Bloomberg that “it really is a prey to robots from bankers.”
  • Back office and low-paid roles are more likely to be affected, the report said, according to Bloomberg.

Wells Fargo predicts that automation could reduce as many as 100,000 bank jobs over the next five years.

Late Monday, customers of the bank received a 110-page report detailing the potential impact of digitization on Wall Street and its staff, Bloomberg reported. On Thursday, Mike Mayo, Wells Fargo’s CEO, appeared on Bloomberg TV to discuss the report’s findings.

“It really is a prey to robots from bankers,” Mayo told Bloomberg’s Emily Chang. “Developers are the new bankers. The technology managers in banks are now some of the most important people in banks.”

Mayo predicted that two-thirds of the cuts would be in back-office jobs. One-third would hit front-office roles, which are typically more customer-facing, he said.

The client report suggested that lower paying roles were more likely to be affected, according to Bloomberg.

Mayo said tech would also create new roles that partially offset some of the losses, but did not say how many.

Technology will help banks become more efficient than they have been before, Mayo said, by allowing them to modernize call centers, back offices and branches. Switching to cloud and other third-party storage would also help, he said.

Banks need to automate to keep up with fintech, big tech, retail and others, Mayo said. This would benefit customers who increasingly prefer online or just digital banking, he said.

Mayo admitted that the industry struggled to compete with tech companies in the war for talent. “The competition for technological talent has never been tougher, and the banks are carrying some of that,” he said.

In a memo sent in May, Mayo and other Wells Fargo analysts predicted that as many as 200,000 jobs could be laid off within a decade as a result of technical adoption, according to Bloomberg.

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