Deutsche Bank chief executive John Cryan once mooted replacing as many as half his 98,000 staff with robots. His dramatic ousting last weekend means he won’t be held to that promise, but investors need not look far for other bankers talking up the potential of artificial intelligence to revolutionise an industry that has struggled with profitability in the decade since the financial crisis.

Former Citigroup chief Vikram Pandit — reborn as a fintech evangelist — predicted 30 per cent of banking jobs could be wiped out by AI in five years. Mizuho Financial Group in Japan says it will use AI to replace 19,000 people by 2027 — about a third of its workforce.

Almost every big name consultancy has published research on how AI will transform banking. KPMG went one step further with its vision of an ‘invisible bank’ where “enlightened virtual assistants” replace people at all points of customer interaction.

Santander introduced red robots to show guests around their Spanish visitor centre in 2010. UBS has Amazon’s digital assistant Alexa on customer service duty, JPMorgan is using robots (the invisible kind) to execute trades and Morgan Stanley has an AI fraud detection team.

Just this week, HSBC said it would follow suit by using AI to detect money laundering, fraud and terrorist funding. “Long term I think this [harnessing AI and technology] will determine the split between winners and losers,” says Jeroen van Oerle, an investor who runs one of Europe’s first fintech focused funds for Robeco based in the Netherlands. Read more from ft.com…

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