Two thirds of young finance professionals threatened by AI

According to research by Metapraxis, a financial analytics company, opinion among millennials employed in financial services is mixed regarding the impact of emerging technologies on the sector

Metapraxis anonymously surveyed 402 millennials (those born after 1981) working in the finance sector, half from the UK and half from the US. Of those polled, a significant number felt that the automation of core processes could pose a potential threat to their employment. Two thirds (67%) of finance professionals expressed concerns about automation and the impact it would have on their careers. However, three quarters (78%) believed that greater automation would add strategic value to both finance departments and overall business, contrasting with older generations who did not share this point of view. One in two believed that the growing field of advanced analytics could potentially transform finance.

The respondents offered disparate opinions about which technologies will have the most impact. 52% believed that advanced analytics, which includes data mining, would be the most transformational technology, while cloud services (47%), data visualisation (39%) and AI and machine learning (33%) were also seen as key. The report noted that, despite its high profile, blockchain was seen as transformational by only a quarter of respondents.

The data also showed a marked difference between the attitudes in the two regions. 27% of US respondents felt more secure in their role, disagreeing that they felt threatened by automation, compared with 16% who expressed the same opinion in the UK. The authors of the report suggest that this may be due to UK finance departments adopting automation ahead of their US counterparts - 64% of finance departments in the UK are reported to have already implemented elements of automation to their processes.

Simon Bittlestone, CEO of Metapraxis, says: ‘For years it has been known that finance employees feel threatened by the impact that new technologies will have on their day to day role and job security.

‘It is no huge surprise that even digitally native millennials feel the same; however, what our research shows is that unlike their predecessors, these individuals clearly understand the value that data and analytics can bring to the finance function, which is particularly encouraging.

‘By harnessing the power of advanced analytics, finance functions will be better equipped to make quicker, more effective decisions and truly drive the strategic direction of the business.’

Report by James Bunney

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