LONDON — Former Barclays CEO Antony Jenkins believes the global financial system is beginning to undergo the “Uber moments” he predicted in the sector a year and a half ago.
Speaking on a panel at the Treasury’s International Fintech conference in London this week, Jenkins said:
“18 months ago I gave a speech about approaching the Uber moment in financial services. I suspect we might be beginning to see some Uber moments popping up. For example, branch traffic has almost halved in the last 5 years in the UK, ATM usage is declining, Scandinavian countries are talking about going completely cashless. We’re beginning to see some of these Uber moments happening.”
Jenkins, who was CEO of Barclays from 2012 to 2015, forecast a series of Uber-style disruptions in the banking industry in late 2015. He said that advances in technology could shrink headcount at traditional big banks by as much as 50%, while profitability in some areas could collapse by over 60%.
He said on Wednesday that technologies “like distributed ledger, machine learning and AI are now becoming much more cost effective and as that capability increases and cost decreases, you can then apply those tools to dramatically improve performance in financial services. I think we’re really at the end of the beginning of that process.”
Since being ousted at Barclays, Jenkins has set up his own fintech business: 10X Future Technologies. The startup has developed a new core banking platform, effectively a new operating system for banking to build products and services on top off. It aims to help banks cope with the “Uber” disruption by giving them a modern canvas to build upon.
Jenkins told the audience on Wednesday that the business would not be possible if not for advances in technology that have come in the last five to ten years.
He said: “The fact that you can go to a cloud provider, whether its AWS or Azure or whatever, and get this massive scalability without having to build your own data centre with your own servers, you can get this sort of tooling and access to open source software, allows you to compress incredibly the development cycle and the cost that goes with it.”