Human jobs at banks under growing threat due to automation, as MUFG to “move” 30% of staff

Maria Nikolova

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group is taking another step towards embracing technologies, as 9,500 of the clerical jobs in Japan are set to be automated.

Japanese financial businesses have been at the front of the changes involving artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics adoption. Earlier this year, Japan’s Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance made the headlines by announcing it would make 34 staff members redundant over the deployment of IBM’s Watson AI solution. The trend has continued and another Japanese financial services major – Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc (TYO:8306), has joined ranks of the companies that decisively transform their workforce in line with the latest technology achievements.

MUFG’s President Nobuyuki Hirano, quoted by the Nikkei Asian Review, said 9,500 jobs will be automated in Japan. These jobs account for about 30% of the overall headcount nationwide at MUFG’s main subsidiary, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.

MUFG’s decision is seen as an attempt to bolster productivity. Mr Hirano stressed that the company will move employees who have been engaged in relatively simple work into more creative roles through retraining and other measures. How easy and effective such retraining may be is a different matter. Mr Hirano emphasized that banks will have to draw a clear line between work that humans do and work that can be performed by machines.

This resembles a statement made by Peter Dahlgren, CEO of Nordnet, who commented that hiring the bank’s first digital employee – Amelia, would let humans focus on what humans do.

Kanetsugu Mike, president and CEO of the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, has earlier voiced plans of the bank to promote automation by introducing AI. If mortgage approval is fully automated, for example, it is estimated to remove 2,500 working hours per year, the bank said.

MUFG’s retail FX subsidiary Kabu.com Securities has made a number of steps towards AI adoption. In April this year, the broker said it would launch a special AI-powered solution for its clients. The tool, named “AlpacaSearch for kabu.com”, is developed jointly with AI startup AlpacaDB Inc and has been available to stock traders using Kabu Station Premium.

And, in July this year, Kabu.com unveiled a partnership with fintech expert xenodata lab to deliver infographics showing the highlights about companies’ financial reports based on natural language analysis.

Read this next

Metaverse Gaming NFT

Dubai Museum taps Binance to jump onto NFT bandwagon

Dubai’s Museum of the Future, the $136 million UAE government-sponsored museum that opened a few weeks ago, is joining forces with Binance NFT to roll out a range of digital products on blockchain.

Digital Assets

Ripple and Lithuanian FINCI partner for XRP-based payments

Ripple is looking to expand its presence in Europe, forming a new partnership with Lithuanian electronic money institution FINCI.

Digital Assets

Crypto.com enables Shopify merchants to accept crypto payments

Crypto.com has integrated with Canadian e-commerce giant Shopify so global merchants can accept crypto payments and save on processing fees through cash-final settlements.

Institutional FX

FX volume drops 13pct at CLS Group in April 2022

FX settlement specialist CLS Group today reported that the executed volumes of currency trading on its platforms were notably down in April.

Crypto Insider, Opinion

Regulation: The Gold-Standard for Crypto-Assets

When the US supervisory authority SEC allowed an investment product referencing Bitcoin futures to be traded for the first time last October, this was widely perceived as a signal that cryptocurrencies had finally become established as an asset class.

Executive Moves

Solid hires FX industry veteran Darren Barker for multi-bank ECN’s business development

His curriculum vitae includes former roles at Cantor Fitzgerald, Sucden Financial, R.J. O’Brien, Jefferies, Natixis, Unicredit, J.P. Morgan, Raiffeisen, RBS International, UBS, Deutsche Bank, and Citi. 

Inside View

Mihails Safro, xpate CEO: Tips sellers need to know to overcome compliance obstacles

The unprecedented growth of e-commerce changed shopping dramatically last year. Many sellers suddenly faced a rapidly growing number of customers who had to stay home during the lockdown. When some clients adopted Netflix and Spotify as part of a daily routine, others ventured into online business. Robinhood alone saw a whopping 6 million rise in user numbers in 2 months. 

Institutional FX

BMLL delivers Level 3 data to Kepler Cheuvreux for order book analytics and algo performance

The solution covers more than 6.5 years of harmonised historical data from 65 venues and combines it with easy to use APIs and analytics libraries in a secure cloud environment. 

Digital Assets

Crypto Is An Invaluable Tool In The Fight Against Financial Oppression  

Crypto has proven itself to be much more than just a hot investment. Indeed, some say it’s poised to play a critical role in the future of finance

<