Stan­dard Char­tered in­vest­ing in ro­bots to cut com­pli­ance costs

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE -

Stan­dard Char­tered is mov­ing heav­ily into rad­i­cal new tech­nolo­gies that could one day see ro­bots pro­vid­ing be­spoke wealth ad­vice and ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence an­swer­ing cus­tomer ques­tions. The emerg­ing mar­kets-fo­cused Bri­tish bank has set up a new lab called the eXeller­a­tor in Sin­ga­pore in an at­tempt to bring the­o­ret­i­cal ideas from Sil­i­con Val­ley to life. Chief ex­ec­u­tive Bill Win­ters has put the cen­tre at the heart of a $1.5bn com­mit­ment to im­prov­ing com­put­ing and IT sys­tems.

Some of the ideas are also ur­gently needed cost-sav­ing ini­tia­tives. The bank has hired thou­sands of ad­di­tional com­pli­ance of­fi­cers in the past three years and last year hiked an­nual com­pli­ance spend­ing by an ex­tra $1bn in an ef­fort to stop work­ers break­ing laws and reg­u­la­tions, in the wake of ex­pen­sive scan­dals in­clud­ing the break­ing of US sanc­tions against Iran. To com­bat this, Stan­dard Char­tered wants to run com­puter sys­tems and ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence pro­grammes to en­sure the reg­u­la­tions are not bro­ken, rather than hir­ing staff to man­u­ally im­ple­ment them and mon­i­tor the re­sults.

"In the last two or three years, al­most all banks have added hun­dreds or thou­sands of ad­di­tional peo­ple for com­pli­ance, to reg­u­late re­port­ing, reg­u­late com­pli­ance - now, banks un­der­stand what is go­ing on and want a way to make it more ef­fi­cient," said the bank's global chief in­no­va­tion of­fi­cer Anju Pat­ward­han.

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