Citizens Bank aims to retrain its workforce as it explores use cases of generative AI within contact center systems, advising and coding.
As the $222 billion bank invests in AI, it is looking to its workforce to execute its initiatives rather than looking outward, Beth Johnson, chief experience officer at Citizens Bank, told Bank Automation News.
“If we can give [our team] better tools to answer questions faster, if we can train them faster, make them more efficient,” that would add value to the bank’s operations, Johnson said.
For example, within branches, the bank aims to train its workers to provide advice in addition to working as a teller, Michael Ruttledge, chief information officer at Citizens Bank, told BAN.
“We’ve also taken some folks out of the branch, and we’re training them as engineers,” Ruttledge said. “We have got an academy program where we take people who are non-tech but have the aptitude and the skill to be able to learn that and grow that.”
The bank also looks to train employees who have a computer science or data science degree but did not go into that field, he said.
AI’s impact on the workforce
While a recent Challenger, Gray and Christmas report stated that nearly 4,000 jobs were eliminated in May 2023 due to increasing use of AI in companies, experts believe it’s too early to say how AI will affect the job market.
“Technology is going to increase the productivity of the banks and the workforce at the same time, and when we see change, there’s always incredible increase in the amount of work they have to do to actually roll out change,” Carlo Giovine, a partner at QuantumBlack, McKinsey & Co.’s artificial intelligence arm, told BAN.
The increased productivity can allow banks to double down on customer experience or enter new businesses, Giovine said.
“I think the next year will be mostly experimenting with technology, updating risk frameworks and then adding guardrails to essentially prevent misuse, prevent audit risks that we know these models are capable of,” he said. “I don’t expect dramatic changes, but then, as it’s become more mainstream, and is more proven and safer, we may see banks taking different stances.”