Executives at UK financial institutions are hailing the potential of the next generation of artificial intelligence (AI), according to research from Lloyds Bank

Four in five (80%) financial services sector leaders believe advancements in AI will lead to significant changes to the UK economy, including increased productivity (66%).

Although half of sector leaders believe some skilled and unskilled roles may become redundant as a result of advancements in AI (52% and 51% respectively), 45% said that new skilled roles would be created. 

Lisa Francis, Managing Director, Institutional at Lloyds Bank Corporate and Institutional Banking, commented: “The financial services industry is alive to AI’s potential to change how we live and work and it’s encouraging that most sector leaders see opportunities for their businesses as the technology develops. 

“Leveraging AI effectively is essential to keep the UK financial services industry at the forefront of technological innovation globally.”

Leaders were also asked whether they viewed AI as an opportunity or a threat to their business. More than half (56%) said they saw opportunity, while 41% were either ambivalent or undecided, with only 3% viewing the technology as a threat.

When it came to the investment into AI to boost productivity, 32% of financial service leaders stated their business is already active in investing in the emerging technology. 

One in ten (10%) have plans to invest in AI in the next three years, a third (34%) are monitoring the technology and a quarter (24%) currently are not looking at AI investment.

Of those investing or planning to invest in AI, 72% are expecting to secure improved productivity or better client experiences (75%). Almost two thirds (63%) expect to be able to access greater insights on their customers.

Dr. Paul Dongha, Group Head of Data & AI Ethics at Lloyds Bank, added: “A significant proportion of financial services firms are only monitoring the progress of AI or aren’t looking at the technology at all. Given the scale and pace of change we’ve witnessed already, these businesses risk losing ground and, potentially, market share to their competitors.

“At the same time, it is clear that many firms believe AI presents risks to their businesses or the wider economy, especially due to recent developments in generative AI. 

“It’s important that firms monitor developments closely and put appropriate guard rails in place to ensure they are mitigating these risks while maximising the potential benefits of artificial intelligence for their employees and customers.”