Boosting productivity through automation is another goal of the industry. Automation drives down costs and enables better control and compliance. It gives firms scale by allowing them to better serve existing customers and address new segments of customers by allocating resources to areas in which they can make the biggest difference. Eliminating simple manual processes that leverage high-cost resources is where automation can be highly advantageous and is often one of the first places to which major financial institutions look for quick wins.
When providing an update on the strategic initiatives CIT Group currently has in place, chairwoman and CEO Ellen Alemany said the company is making “technology and operational improvements, such as reengineering some processes and automating certain functions, as well as standardizing technology where it makes sense.” Ms. Alemany continued, “While this may include some investments, it will also drive lower costs going forward.”
Deutsche Bank wrote about its goal of becoming more efficient: “In line with the bank’s goals of becoming simpler and more efficient, global markets operations is restructuring to reduce costs, strengthen controls and eliminate inefficient manual processes through greater automation.”
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Cutting costs is also part of Bank of America’s strategy to become more profitable. In regards to its goal to cut an additional $5 billion in annual costs by 2018, the bank’s chairman and CEO, Brian Moynihan, said, “It’s a constant reduction in personnel through hard work and automation.”
When discussing the ongoing program, the company has to help position itself to deliver positive results, Greg Carmichael, CEO of Fifth Third Bancorp, said, “We’re continuing to invest in areas of automation to optimize operations.”
A good example of automation comes from a publicly traded financial services company that has businesses in banking and wealth management. Like many other companies, it identified automation as the mechanism that can help it become more productive throughout its operations. One area it decided to tackle first was the credit process, from application to approval. Using digital technology, the company was able to automate the entire process, from the collection of data, to its analysis, to its storage. The results pointed to a shortened timeline, more closed business opportunities, and a better overall customer experience.
At the 2016 Milken Institute Global Conference, Daniel Nadler, chief executive of finance at the analytics firm , said traditional financial services firms like J.P. Morgan will still be here in the long run — “they’ll just be more efficient.” He went on to say, “Analysts, young associates, vice presidents — anyone whose job is moving a column of data from one spreadsheet to another — is going to get automated.”
In our newest thought leadership piece, The Executive’s Guide to Driving Efficiency in Financial Services, we explore:
- How can organizations drive efficiency?
- What initiatives do companies have in place?
- What have been the results of these programs thus far?
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