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Bank staff numbers to plummet as tech takes over - NAB executive

24 July 2012  |  9860 views  |  1 blurry people

The number of people employed by banks will tumble over the next two decades as technological advancements such as mobile services make large parts of workforces redundant, according to a senior executive at Australian giant NAB.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Lisa Gray, head of personal banking at NAB, told a lunch in Melbourne: "Today, most of the banks have tens of thousands of employees. Into the future, potentially through technology, there will be handfuls of thousands of people but really they're adding very significant and different value for customers as well."

Gray says staff numbers will fall "not in the next few years but over the next couple of decades as there's more use of technology both at that personal mobile digital level, also, though, as organisations such as ourselves continue to invest and streamline the way day-to-day transactions are done."

Mobiles are already driving change, with more than a third of Internet banking logins now from handsets, says Gray. Meanwhile, social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook are being used for "authentic dialogue" with customers, replacing more people-hungry channels such as branches and call centres.

Technology 'will reduce banking jobs' - SMH

Comments: (1)

Jan-Olof Brunila
Jan-Olof Brunila - Swedbank - Stockholm | 25 July, 2012, 07:42

This has already happened in Sweden, where automation, straight through processing, self-service, digitalisation of transactions and internal process efficiency measures over the last 15 years has lead to a large reduction of people employed in banks. Since 1997 most major banks have halved their staff numbers even though the business volumes have grown - this count is prior to any major outsourcings of tasks. Today customers manage most of their daily banking needs through the internet and via smart phones. Calls at branch offices are rare and in many times pre booked consultations on personal financial issues. Payments are mostly done with digital means via cards and internet banking, e-invoicing is growing. Cash is diminishing and many bank branches do not supply any cash services. All this is based on a well working infrastructure with high speed internet access and personal devices. The government push for digital infrastructure around the Millennium brought internet access and PC:s almost to every home in Sweden and now the rapid build-up of 4G phone networks will improve access even more.  Obviously banks need to supply true 24x7 systems access and the learing of the bank customers to embrace new electronic habits cannot be underestimated. Smart phones alone will not make it happen.

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