Daily Management Review

Is it possible to fully automatize the banking sector?


Movement Mortgage, established in 2008, wants will be issuing 10% of mortgage loans in the United States by 2025, according to the company’s website. In 2015, Movement Mortgage has issued $ 7.38 billion of loans, that is, 1.3% of the US mortgage market. The company is only eight years old, and it has to eradicate the outdated practice, its CEO Casey Crawford told FT. For this, he introduces a system developed by a California startup Blend Labs. The innovation makes work with potential borrowers much easier.

A 76-year-old client of Movement Mortgage says that the new system prepared an application and all necessary documents just in hour, though earlier it could take several days.

"Millions of jobs will disappear in the next 10-15 years, not only blue-collar workers, and not only in the US, this is a global phenomenon," - said financier Bill Gross. According to him, it will take investment in infrastructure and health care for the aging population. He sees the solution in a government-provided basic income. "If the robots displace more and more working citizens, they will still have to make a living! And if you're shocked with it, I suggest to get used to it ", - says Gross.

According to Nima Ghamsari, Blend Labs general director, the mortgage sector still uses several decades-old technologies. Copying of documents and filling out forms takes many working hours and staff. "At some point, it dawned on us that these shortcomings are result of the Silicon Valley start-ups, which ignore a significant portion of financial services", - said Ghamsari.

It’s even harder for British banks. "There are cases where banks’ IT-systems converted customer accounts data from the decimal system in shillings or pences, and vice versa," – said a former banker on condition of anonymity.

Traditionally, the situation is better in Asia, where the financial sector is young and IT-systems are not inherited legacy. Therefore, IT-budgets are spent on innovation, rather than on patching holes.

In the next 12 months, Citigroup will begin to recognize its 1 million customers by voice, Bloomberg reported. This will allow the bank’s call center, receives 35 million calls a year, to reduce the time for client identification from 45 to 15 seconds. According to the director of the Asian division Citi Anand Selvakesari, 95% of the work with clients in Asia occurs outside bank branches.

65% of employees of banks with a large network of branches are engaged in the processing of data which may eventually be automated, according to Citi’s report. Most bureaucratic processes, such as document processing, and mortgage lending, may be next in the automation of operations, said the Head of Banking Studies Citi Ronit Ghose: "We expect big layoffs in these segments." According to Citi’s estimates, US and European banks could eliminate nearly 2 million jobs in the next 10 years.

source: ft.com, bloomberg.com