Robots will result in Sberbank reducing back office workforce size 12 times by 2021

Maria Nikolova

Currently, back office staff at the bank is around 12,000, with the number to fall to 1,000 by 2021, mostly due to the robotization of services.

The topic of robots replacing human staff at financial services companies is far from a novel one, especially when it comes to Sberbank Rossii PAO (MCX:SBER) which in January this year said it would lay off 3,000 employees at its legal department thanks to the enrollment of a robot lawyer.

There is more gloomy news for the human staff at the bank, as Herman Gref – CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of Sberbank, has unveiled further plans for workforce reduction. The number of employees in back office roles at the bank will be reduced 12 times by 2021, according to Mr Gref, who was quoted by information agency TASS.

Currently, the bank has 12,000 back office employees, with the number to be reduced to 5,000 by 2018 and to 1,000 by 2021. Back in 2011, the number was 59,000, he said.

One of the main reasons for the changes is the increased use of robots by the bank. Stanislav Kuznetsov, Deputy Chairman of Sberbank’s Executive Board noted that robots have been working at the bank’s archive department for seven years already and that now robots are replacing staff that that counts money. The next step will be the employment of android robots.

Artificial intelligence solutions are gaining ground in Russia, as Sberbank Leasing, a part of the Sberbank group of companies, announced in May that it launches a leasing program for Promobot (v2 and v3) – an autonomous robot that may replace human staff in various roles, including customer support, administration and consultation. The move is expected to boost the adoption of the solution, as the leasing makes it more affordable. Furthermore, it claims to cut expenses associated with human staff.

Russia is looking forward to a law on robotics. Early in 2017, Vyacheslav Volodin, Chairman of the Russian State Duma, voiced his support for such a law. He said back then that rules governing the human-robot relations were expected to be implemented in 2022.

Read this next

Industry News

FINRA fines BofA Securities $24 million for spoofing in US Treasuries

BofA Securities failed to detect spoofing due to inadequate supervisory systems. These systems were not equipped to identify manual spoofing by traders.

Retail FX

Belgium regulator blacklists FXP360, Appex Finance, and Wise-Markets

Belgium’s financial watchdog, the Financial Services and Markets Authority ‎‎(FSMA), has issued a warning against the unauthorized activities of multiple ‎ platforms that are offering investments in the country without ‎complying with Belgian financial legislation.‎

Digital Assets

MicroStrategy piles on Bitcoin, acquiring 0.90% of circulating supply

MicroStrategy, the world’s largest Bitcoin corporate holder, has further increased its holdings of the primary cryptocurrency. According to a recent filing, the company acquired an additional 16,130 bitcoins between November 1 and November 29, spending $593.3 million at an average price of $36,785 per bitcoin.

Digital Assets

Paxos gets nod to issue dollar-backed stablecoins in UAE

Stablecoin issuer Paxos has received preliminary approval from Abu Dhabi’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority to issue U.S. dollar-backed virtual currencies and provide crypto-brokerage and custody services.

Digital Assets

Flare Labs Begins Testing FAssets on Coston Testnet Paving Way for Non-Smart Contracts to Flare

Flare Labs has introduced FAssets on the Coston testnet, enabling the integration of non-smart contract tokens like BTC, XRP, and DOGE into the DeFi ecosystem.

Digital Assets

Philippine bars access to Binance, citing unregistered operations

The Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is moving to block access to Binance due to regulatory concerns, citing the platform’s operation without proper registration and authorization in the country.

Digital Assets

FTX cleared to sell investments in Grayscale and Bitwise funds

Bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX has received approval from the bankruptcy court to start selling its stakes in digital trusts managed by Grayscale Investments.

Digital Assets

Nexo launches Dual Investment for yield earning and price prediction

“Dual Investment revolutionizes how users engage with BTC and ETH, offering a flexible, intuitive, yet sophisticated platform for predicting asset price movements, all while securing high yields.”


Aquis Stock Exchange goes live with cloud-based matching engine powered by AWS

“By running on AWS, the Aquis Stock Exchange is driving transformation across the capital markets industry while continuing to enhance the scalability, functionality and innovation that will benefit its members and stakeholders in an environment where security and resiliency are our highest priority.”