CFOs: automation will drive FS job losses

Almost two thirds (65 per cent) of chief financial officers (CFOs) expect digital transformation to significantly reduce the number of jobs in the financial services industry.

A survey of 1000 CFOs by Onguard found that 38 per cent fear that the growing trends of automation and digitisation will mean their own jobs will no longer exist in its current form, with 23 per cent saying they will disappear altogether.

This is a substantial increase from last year, when only six per cent of respondents reported job loss fears.

In order for the workforce to adapt to the rapid development of new technologies, 65 per cent of CFOs believe developing analytical skills will be essential. This is followed by communication skills (54 per cent), leadership qualities (36 per cent) and programming skills (13 per cent).

Those below director level were more pessimistic, with the survey showing that over half (57 per cent) of financial managers anticipate the disappearance of financial jobs in general. This includes their own jobs, since almost a quarter (23 per cent) of them believe their current role will no longer exist ten years from now.

Bert Van der Zwan, chief executive at Onguard, said: “Each new era changes the way things are done and jobs evolve accordingly - we see the same thing happening in this era of digital transformation - companies have been automating routine administrative tasks for some time which is reducing the amount of back office work done by people.”

As a result, he suggested that back office jobs will be the first to disappear, as robots will be able to take on these roles and replicate tasks 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“Jobs that can be done by robots have no future, to change and evolve with the industry, finance professionals will find that developing new skills is a must,” said Van der Zwan.

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