Financial Services Sector at a Crossroad, Wittenborg Lecturer's Research Shows
Wittenborg lecturer, Dr Muhammad Ashfaq, was recently at Cambridge University in the UK, where he participated in the Gulf Research Meeting Conference. As one of the participants he presented a research paper on “Knowledge, Attitude and Perceptions of Financial Industry Employees Toward AI in the GCC (Gulf) Region”.
Ashfaq said the financial services industry worldwide is at a crossroads due to successive waves of innovation from mainframes, databases, desktop, and personal computing, business software, big data, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). His paper highlights the knowledge, attitude and perceptions of professionals working in the financial services industry in various countries in the GCC region.
"Many start-ups such as Financial Technology (FinTechs) providers are challenging the traditional banking system by offering faster services without compromising on compliance and risk. By the end of 2017, almost US$2 trillion worth of the total assets were held by the GCC financial institutions. However, financial institutions in the GCC region are taking a hit as costs rise and income drops. Recent unprecedented developments in big data, virtual reality, e-commerce, machine learning, and AI, offer enormous business opportunities to financial institutions.
"I developed an online and paper-based quantitative questionnaire to obtain the responses of 157 professionals from six GCC countries. Descriptive and inferential statistical methods used to analyse the data using SPSS. The nature of this study is empirical.
"The findings showed that the overwhelming majority of the respondents are familiar with AI from a business and finance perspective. The research also showed that an overwhelming majority of the respondents in the GCC countries are concerned about ethical, security and data privacy issues."
by James Wittenborg