Press release

5 Feb 2020 London, GB

Artificial intelligence will be an essential business driver for financial services within two years, according to study co-sponsored by EY

LONDON, 5 FEBRUARY 2020. EY today announced findings from Transforming Paradigms: Global AI in Financial Services Survey , a new global survey assessing the current state of artificial intelligence (AI) adoption by financial services organizations.

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  • 77% anticipate AI will have high business importance in next two years
  • 64% of senior executives expect to be mass adopters of artificial intelligence (AI) 

EY today announced findings from Transforming Paradigms: Global AI in Financial Services Survey, a new global survey assessing the current state of artificial intelligence (AI) adoption by financial services organizations. The survey was led by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School and the World Economic Forum, and co-sponsored by EY and Invesco.

According to senior executives surveyed in the financial services industry, AI is expected to be an essential business driver across the industry, with 77% of respondents anticipating AI to possess high or very high overall importance to their businesses in the next two years.

The study also revealed that 85% of respondents have already implemented AI within their organizations and expect to use AI for new use cases in the coming years. Additionally, nearly two-thirds (64%) expect to use AI for new revenue generation, process automation, risk management, customer service and client acquisitions within two years.

Increased adoption of AI technologies across the financial services industry also comes with challenges, as data quality, access to data and competition for talent are all seen as major obstacles to implementing AI by more than 80% of senior executives. When it comes to respondents who predominantly use autonomous AI, the attitudes shift, with 80% of respondents perceiving trust and user adoption to be the most significant hurdle.

Nigel Duffy, EY Global Artificial Intelligence Leader, says:

“AI is transforming the financial services industry and we can expect widespread adoption to continue. As the technologies start to disrupt business models and transform business functions, it’s increasingly important for organizations to focus on the long-term implications of AI adoption: trust in AI, workforce transformation and how customer and stakeholder value can be radically reimagined.”

Matthew Blake, Head of Financial and Monetary Systems, World Economic Forum, says:

“The comprehensive and global study affirms AI is impacting the financial system at an accelerating pace. With the rising trend of mass adoption of the technologies throughout financial services, there will be a significant gap between firms that quickly implement AI and firms that lag behind.”

Bryan Zhang, Executive Director, CCAF, says:

“This empirical research underscores the growing importance of harnessing AI in financial services, which gives new impetus for firms to develop a holistic and future-proof AI strategy.”

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About the study

The data was collected in Q2 and Q3 2019 among a sample of 151 responses from 33 countries, with FinTech firms and incumbent financial institutions representing 54% and 46% of the sample, respectively. Respondents included C-level executives and other relevant senior management across different financial services sectors.