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 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”, is developed jointly with AI startup AlpacaDB Inc and has been available to stock traders using Kabu Station Premium.

And, in July this year, 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

Digital Assets

Ankr successfully patches hack, will reimburse victims and take actions to prevent further attacks

DeFi protocol Ankr plans to reimburse its affected users after a hacker managed to exploit a bug in its code that allowed for unlimited minting of its liquid staking token.

Industry News

ASIC cancels/suspends AFS license of AFSL Group and Quantum Funds Management

ASIC canceled the AFS license of AFSL Group because it failed to lodge statements and audit reports and it did not maintain AFCA membership. The Australian regulator suspended Quantum because it does not have the required professional indemnity insurance coverage.

Executive Moves

BidX Markets hires Shaun French as Research Analyst – Multi Asset

“We believe with his background in the Financial Markets and being based in Dubai, he will be able to provide our clients with access to outstanding research, while also being in a great location to help support our international clients base which is growing at a rapid pace’’.

Institutional FX

Nasdaq migrates US options exchange to AWS with +10% performance in round-trip latency

Nasdaq has announced the successful migration of the core trading system of Nasdaq MRX – one of its six U.S. options exchanges – to Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Institutional FX

TraditionData launches oil swaps pricing data at a critical time in OTC oil traded markets

TraditionDATA has announced the release of a new proprietary Oil Swap Model (OSM) which brings further visibility into illiquid and opaque oil markets.


TNS connects to Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) as market data vendor

“This latest exchange connection allows TNS to provide access to approved recipients, including exchange members and market data vendors. This project includes market data for TASE’s equities and increases the number of market data feeds we now offer globally.”

Executive Moves

Cowen Digital taps Taylor S. Cable to lead Europe and Asia operation

“Cowen Digital is a pioneer in delivering institutional grade access to the digital asset ecosystem and I am very excited to join the team at this pivotal time to grow our presence in Europe and Asia.”

Industry News

ASIC sues American Express Australia for lack of TMD on credit cards

“ASIC has now taken multiple actions under the design and distribution regime, including issuing over 20 interim stop orders. This regime turned a new page in the regulation of financial products in Australia and is intended to deliver better outcomes for consumers. It is a priority for ASIC to maximize these increased protections and see the long-term benefits of the DDO regime realized.”

Institutional FX

Eurex reports mixed volumes for November 2022

Deutsche Börse’s derivatives-focused exchange, Eurex today said its total traded derivatives contracts grew by 10 percent in November, from 68.6 million to 75.3 million compared to the same month last year.