EY: Financial services leaders anticipate major GenAI impact

EY has unveiled the results of its European Financial Services AI Survey. Picture: EY
EY’s European Financial Services AI Survey finds more than a third of companies have no plans in place to train employees in emerging GenAI technologies

While the majority of European financial services leaders expect generative AI to have a significant impact on their firms in the coming years, many are yet to ensure their workforce is sufficiently prepared. 

That’s according to the results of EY’s European Financial Services AI Survey, which finds more than a third (35%) of companies currently have no plans in place to train employees in new and rapidly evolving GenAI technologies. 

Meanwhile, a further 42% describe plans as being “in their infancy”.

It comes despite almost four in five (77%) of these executives stating that GenAI will have a significant impact on productivity and roles.

More than two-thirds (68%) of respondents anticipate that up to a quarter of jobs will require AI training or upskilling over the next six to 12 months, with 17% believing half of all jobs could be affected. 

“It's significant to see that such a high number of leaders within the financial sector are recognising the impact AI will have,” comments Dr Yi Ding, Assistant Professor of Information Systems at the Gillmore Centre for Financial Technology, based at Warwick Business School.

“Delivering appropriate training in AI and upskilling will thus be crucial for businesses to remain competitive, and enhance how services are delivered to all.”

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AI understanding a top concern for leaders

EY’s research analyses the views of 60 European executives from financial institutions, including listed firms, representing an aggregate market cap of US$616.7 billion. 

Interestingly, just 12% of leaders state they have training in place for targeted groups, while only one in 10 reported having developed plans in use. 

A mere 2% of respondents believe that their workforce is fully equipped to contribute end-to-end to building AI capabilities across their organisation. 

When asked to consider the top concerns presented by GenAI integration, financial services executives are most likely to cite limited understanding and experience of GenAI applications and their impact across the workforce (36%), followed by uncertainty surrounding existing and pending potential regulatory impacts (29%), and ethical issues around GenAI (7%).

“After more than three decades of major digital transformation across financial services, the rise of GenAI is demanding yet another new set of skills for firms,” adds Omar Ali, EY EMEIA Financial Services Managing Partner.”


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