Times: Irish government plans for AI to hit financial services

Artificial intelligence will reduce the rate of expansion in the financial services sector over the next half-decade, predicts the Irish government. A new five-year strategy for the sector will promise far fewer new jobs than the old one, as workers are displaced by robot technology.

Michael D’Arcy, the junior finance minister, said rapid automation would hit employment in traditional investment funds and the banking payments sector over the next decade. However, he added reskilled workers could exploit growth in sustainable green finance and expanding sectors including regulatory technology or “reg-tech” and cybersecurity.

D’Arcy is finalising IFS2025, a five-year strategy for financial services that will go to the government before Easter with “a more modest jobs target” than the current strategy, now in its final year.

“It is said that technology could cost one-third of the jobs in some sectors. I do not believe the proportion will be that high in financial services, but it will be high,” D’Arcy told the Dail last week. “We want to make sure the staff who are there continue in the sector and continue retraining.”

The government is planning to look for international funding for new green technologies to offset job losses caused by automation in the international financial services sector.

“Sustainable green finance is going to be enormous,” said D’Arcy. “The funding needed to decarbonise and meet the Paris targets in Europe alone is €180bn short every year . . . This is where the next wave of large quantities of funds will be spent.”

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