UK banks leading European rivals in AI adoption race

A report from Accenture reveals UK banks are leading their European counterparts in preparation for AI integration into their systems

In its report shared with City A.M, IT firm Accenture suggest UK banks are more equipped to deal with the eventual integration of AI into their systems as opposed to banks in mainland Europe. 

UK banking: a clear strategic incentive 

Per the report, one-third of UK bank board members have technology experience compared to 13% in wider Europe.  

In addition, Accenture notes that 100% of UK banks have at least one board member with experience in the technology sector, compared to just 78% of European banks. 

However, the same report notes that while there was a 12% increase in the number of technologically competent board members between 2015 and 2023, this figure dropped to 6% from 2020 to 2023.

This suggests more could be done at banks throughout Europe, to ensure the right technical expertise is in place as AI continues its proliferation across multiple industries, revolutionising backend processes while driving cost efficiencies. 

With the US banking ecosystem currently at the forefront of the AI adoption race, after global banking behemoth JP Morgan made a significant number of AI-related hires, Europe has been playing catch up. 

Despite falling behind, Accenture believes the UK’s advanced position compared to wider Europe means it is poised for an injection of technical expertise at a far faster rate than its rivals across the English Channel. 

Leading is 'only part of the journey'

The Head of Financial Services and Insurance at Fujitsu, Krista Griggs, is “thrilled by the UK’s forward-thinking mindset and the courage to embrace the boundless potential of AI technologies. It confirms the trajectory we are on, but it also serves as a catalyst to push the boundaries further.”

However, for Griggs, leading the way in AI innovation is only part of the journey. “The real litmus test lies in its execution. The adoption of AI in the banking sector industry isn't simply about replacing legacy systems; it's about reimagining the possibilities of financial services in the digital age. 

“Our technological prowess is not just for us  it's for the consumers who seek personalised, accessible and efficient banking solutions; for businesses that value smart, secure and transformative financial tools; and for a society that stands to benefit from equitable and sustainable financial models.”

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