The Biggest Banks in The World Are Recruiting AI Specialists Twice Over

Despite widespread layoffs in the banking sector, the world’s largest banks are aggressively expanding their AI talent pool, as stated in Quartz. According to new data from AI adoption research firm Evident, hiring for AI roles at the top 50 global banks has grown by 9% over the last six months, double the overall headcount growth rate at these institutions.

«AI is viewed as a critical strategic priority, which is why the banks’ AI talent volumes continue to grow at pace, seemingly immune from the ongoing reduction in force initiatives seen across the wider sector,» said Alexandra Mousavizadeh, Evident’s co-founder and CEO.

Leading the charge in AI hiring are JPMorgan Chase, Capital One, and Wells Fargo. JPMorgan, in particular, boasts nearly six times more AI staff than the average bank in Evident’s AI Index, employing 11.5% of all AI talent within the banking industry. The bank has been an AI pioneer, hiring its head of AI research back in 2018 and consistently topping Evident’s AI Index.

Capital One, ranking second on the index, has the highest AI talent density, with 12% of its workforce dedicated to AI, significantly above the average bank’s AI headcount.

Despite layoffs at major banks such as Citigroup, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, and Lloyds Bank, the focus on AI talent continues to grow. Deutsche Bank increased its global AI talent by 26.7%, nearly triple the index average, while Lloyds expanded its data engineering force at twice the pace of its UK peers.

However, the competition for AI talent is fierce. Tech giants like OpenAI and Meta are offering million-dollar compensation packages, and the Biden administration plans to hire over 100 AI professionals by summer, requiring all federal agencies to appoint chief AI officers.

«The top 10 banks for AI talent currently account for 51% of the overall banking industry talent pool — a huge advantage when it comes to AI adoption,» Mousavizadeh noted. «If the banks that lag behind cannot close the gap, the race to implement AI will become an uphill struggle.»

In recent months, 68% of net new AI talent in U.S. banks has been focused on implementation roles, indicating a shift from planning to execution of AI strategies. This increase in implementation staffing highlights the growing importance of AI in banking operations.

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