AI’s Ascent in Risk and Compliance
When 2023 opened with the scare of an SVB-led financial contagion, financial risk topped the list of CRO concerns. With that crisis averted, operational risk has returned to the forefront of Risk Management priorities. One of the newest concerns for risk executives is the broad adoption of Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) systems. While few financial institutions have yet to integrate GenAI technology into their operations, both large and small FIs are actively experimenting with GenAI, seeking the most impactful and safest use cases to pilot. After call centers, Risk and Compliance use cases are at the top of the list, putting CROs at the vanguard of adopting this new technology. With use cases uncertain, risk executives are shoring up their data models, data hygiene, and data governance to prepare for a wave of AI applications and deployments.
But Gen AI is not the only highlight from our survey of216 Risk Executives globally. Their responses identified four high-level priorities:
–Building strong data foundations
–Improving operational resilience
–Managing emerging risks
–Using next gen technology to fight financial crime
Overall Risk IT Budgets are growing at 4.6%.Breaking that down, operational risk IT budgets will grow faster at 5.7% while IT for financial risk slower at 3.5%. The budgets for Anti-Financial Crime and Compliance are in the middle at 4.5%. IT budgets for Risk are growing faster than overall IT budgets in North America and Europe, but lagging overall budget growth in Asia Pacific.
Generative AI tops the list of emerging technologies with which firms are experimenting with. At a global level, 44% of FIs are currently exploring use cases for this technology, while a further 31% have projects related to this technology on their roadmap for 2023/4. This is closely followed by wider AI and ML-led initiatives where 43% are currently exploring use cases.
While AI is the being prioritized for next year, technology investment in the current budget is focused on more prosaic topics like reducing cost and improving security. This focus is evident in the fact that Robotic Process Automation, Identity Access and Cyber Security are the top IT investment priorities.