Nedbank may do away with 3,000 employees in favour of “software robots”, according to a report by the City Press.
The report stated that this may occur through natural attrition and the “bank’s expected growth rather than through retrenchments”.
Nedbank CIO Fred Swanepoel said there is “more than adequate room for us not to have any mass retrenchments on account of robotics”.
He told the City Press the bank has 32,000 staff, and its natural attrition rate is about 3,000 staff per year.
“When we look at a three-year period, we don’t think that robotics will take up more than one year of that natural attrition.”
The report stated that Nedbank has installed 59 software robots to date, and plans to install 200 by the end if 2018.
The bots work in divisions such as Nedbank Wealth – a chat bot – while there is also a “robo adviser” in the asset management division.
“We have robots that help us avoid duplicate payments from a procurement perspective. There are a lot of admin-heavy processes,” said Swanepoel.
The software robots can complete certain tasks much faster than humans and are able to work 24 hours a day.
Swanepoel said Nedbank was spending about R2 billion on technology investments overall.
As more banks move towards software-based systems and solutions, however, major downtime – such as that recently suffered by Standard Bank – will have more of an impact on what clients can and cannot access.