Robots could replace as many as 10,000 jobs at Citi

Citigroup predicts that it will need to shed half of its tech and operations staff in the next five years due to the rise of robotics and automation.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Jamie Forese, the president of Citi and chief executive of the bank’s institutional clients group said operational positions in particular, which account for more than 40% of the bank’s total employees, are the “most fertile for machine processing.”

“We’ve got 20,000 operational roles. Over the next five years could you make it 10,000?” Forese told the outlet, insinuating the cuts are inevitable.

And Forese isn’t the first bank executive to forecast massive job losses due to automation either. His comments echo a similar prediction from former Deutsche Bank chief John Cryan in 2017, who issued a similar warning, saying a “big number” of its staff will likely lose their job as robots take over.

“In our bank we have people doing work like robots. Tomorrow we will have robots behaving like people. It doesn’t matter if we as a bank will participate in these changes or not, it is going to happen,” Cryan said during a conference in Frankfurt in 2017.

Barclays investment bank president Tim Throsby also has made comments regarding bank desk jobs, saying “if your job involves a lot of keyboard hitting then you’re less likely to have a happy future.”

A 2016 report from the World Economic Forum has predicted that advances in automation will likely lead to the loss of more than 5 million jobs in 15 major developed and emerging economies.