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AI is becoming a big deal for big banks. What the CEOs of JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and more are saying

AI is becoming a big deal for big banks. What the CEOs of JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and more are saying

Artificial intelligence has become a key business focus across industries — and the banking sector is no exception.

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For years, several major banks have been building up their AI capabilities and offerings. With the advent of client-focused tools like generative AI, banks and their shareholders have even more of a vested interest in developing the highest-level technologies and leveraging them to boost productivity and serve the needs of their customers.

A swath of banking chiefs have already touted the achievements and potential of AI within their own organizations in calls with analysts and letters to shareholders this year.

Here’s what they’re saying.

Goldman Sachs

As we look longer term, to the extent that this technology develops in line with expectation, there will be significant demand for AI-related infrastructure, and as a result, financing, which will be a tailwind to our business.

For our own operations, we have a leading team of engineers dedicated to exploring and applying machine learning and artificial intelligence applications. We are focused on enhancing productivity, particularly for our developers and increasing operating efficiency, while maintaining a high bar for quality, security and controls. Like with any emerging technology, a thoughtful approach and keen eye on risk management will be crucial.

— Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon

Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon is particularly excited by the opportunities AI could present for the investment bank. In a recent call with analysts, he noted that Goldman is already seeing “enormous appetite” from clients for advising and supporting AI strategies, and the potential for continuing work in the field.

Company and government needs around AI infrastructure are “creating an ecosystem of activity in our investment banking and markets business,” Solomon said, pegging it as an area that could continue to expand over a long period of time.

Read more: ‘AI is going to be in every nook and cranny’: Big banks are going all-in on AI

He said AI will become a core part of the investment bank’s focus over the next five to 10 years, serving both clients that are looking to develop and to scale up their AI infrastructure.

Goldman is ranked 7th on Evident’s AI index, although it comes in second-to-last when it comes to transparency.

JPMorgan Chase

While we do not know the full effect or the precise rate at which AI will change our business — or how it will affect society at large — we are completely convinced the consequences will be extraordinary and possibly as transformational as some of the major technological inventions of the past several hundred years: Think the printing press, the steam engine, electricity, computing and the Internet, among others.

— JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, in his annual letter to shareholders.

JPMorgan Chase was an early adopter of AI, hiring Manuela Veloso as head of AI research back in 2018.

Since then, it has established itself as a leader in the space, and topped the list in both existing Evident AI Index reports, ranking first or second in each of the four categories.

The bank has grown its “AI organization materially” over the past year, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said, and now hosts more than 2,000 AI and machine learning (ML) experts and data scientists — more than double the 900 Dimon reported last year. It has upwards of 400 use cases in production across areas and is exploring further use of generative AI in its software engineering and customer service practices, he said.

In addressing AI’s potential, Dimon recognized the technology’s potential to shake up the the bank’s work force:

Over time, we anticipate that our use of AI has the potential to augment virtually every job, as well as impact our workforce composition. It may reduce certain job categories or roles, but it may create others as well. As we have in the past, we will aggressively retrain and redeploy our talent to make sure we are taking care of our employees if they are affected by this trend.

Bank of New York Mellon

I really don’t think this is a 2024 story. Of course, we’re doing things in 2024. But if you ask me to try to put a pin in where the real benefits and sort of tailwinds kick in, I’m actually going to say it’s not even necessarily a 2025 story, although maybe we’ll see a little bit in 2025. I think this is a 2026 and on out benefit on the expense line.

— Bank of New York Mellon CEO Robin Vince 

BNY Mellon last month deployed Nvidia’s DGX SuperPOD, an AI supercomputer, to help power its centralized AI hub. It currently has more than 20 AI-enabled solutions in production.

The financial services giant, which oversees more than $50 trillion in assets, has identified “hundreds of use cases” across its offerings and has several in production, CEO Robin Vince said in a call with analysts last week.

Vince underscored the importance of the bank’s AI hubs, known as “centers of excellence,” because, he said, “problem statements that sound different can, in fact, have very common root causes.”

Bank of America

We use AI for customer service with Erica. We are piloting the use of AI in computer programming, to improve how we do our own coding, in areas where we use machine learning and algorithm models today, and in other areas. AI can be applied effectively. Erica tells us that. But it has to be done carefully.

— Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, in his annual letter to shareholders.

Despite CEO Brian Moynihan’s apparently more reserved perspective on AI, Bank of America is also taking a forward-looking stance on the technology.

The Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank holds more than 4,500 patents, with many focused on digital innovation, AI and cybersecurity, and it holds 15th place in Evident’s index.

Its AI financial assistant, Erica, has resolved 43% of corporate customer inquiries since launching in 2018. Earlier this month, the chatbot surpassed two billion client interactions since it began working with customers — adding 500 million interactions since July 2023.

BlackRock

We continue to be investing in AI, our most recent experience of having $2.5 trillion more assets with the same head count is a real good indication of how we are trying to drive more efficiencies, more productivity. I think this is critical.

We’re going to bring down inflation in America, this is how it’s going to have to be done, driven through technology and which will increase more productivity. And overall, it actually through that process, will continue to drive more productivity.

What it also means is rising wages, so people do more and the whole organization is doing more with less people as a percent of the overall organization. That is really our ambition.

— BlackRock CEO Larry Fink

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink took a broad and economically-focused stance on the potential benefits of AI for the investment banking giant and the economy as a whole — namely, how AI can boost productivity gains, which would in turn bolster wages and help wrangle inflation in the U.S.

At a conference hosted by Deutsche Bank last year, Fink said BlackRock’s technology experts believe AI could increase the investment bank’s productivity by as much as 30%.

BlackRock, with $10 trillion in assets under management, is also looking to place itself at the heart of AI innovation by becoming a capital fount for the massive infrastructure needed by AI companies.

Charles Schwab

When you switch over to something like Generative AI, I think it’s going to be a while to watch that technology mature. I know that may not match some of the hype that we hear some speaking of, but I think that technology will need to mature. There will be a lot of work that will go on with regulators along the way to ensure that we can deliver for clients without some of the inherent biases that you sometimes see.

— Charles Schwab CEO Walter Bettinger

Charles Schwab CEO Walter Bettinger categorized AI as “a big, big opportunity” for the financial services giant to serve clients.

The bank has already been using AI for security and fraud detection for “a number of years,” he said. Bettinger pointed to the major potential of AI to help close knowledge and experience gaps among employees and improve clients’ digital experience.

“We tend to believe that it will be the marriage of AI with humans that will deliver best for our clients,” he said.

Charles Schwab is ranked 47th in the AI index, with near-last standings in innovation, leadership, and transparency. Its biggest area of strength, according to the report, is its AI Implementation talent, targeting software development and product management functions.

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