AI threat to Scottish finance jobs yet to fully materialise

03/07/2023
Mike Stirton (MD of Core-Asset Consulting)

A MAJOR finance recruiter has warned that the sector must embrace the wave of transformation resulting from artificial intelligence (AI), but that the jobs market is yet to be significantly impacted.

With financial services widely tipped as an industry set to experience significant change from the rapid development of AI, the leading Scottish financial recruiter Core-Asset Consulting is reporting that only a very small percentage of Scottish job briefs directly referenced using AI tools or applications.

It has also recorded no evidence of AI being used, as yet, to replace workers – but has had indications from several blue chip clients that it may not be far away.

MD of Core-Asset Consulting, Mike Stirton believes that there will be winners and losers from the march of the technology – and that it is important that Scotland takes a united approach for the good of society and the economy.

Mike said: “The impact of AI on jobs in finance is embryonic at this stage, but it is coming. While some roles may inevitably disappear, new roles will emerge as a result. This is what we have seen over the last couple of decades with other emerging technology in the sector such as financial applications and how data is used.

Scotland has a flourishing tech sector, which has enabled it to become a world leader in fintech. Theoretically, this should put us in an enviable position to capitalise on advancements and change.

“It’s crucial that there is a joined up approach across industry, government and academia to ensure we are equipped to harness the change. That’s down to ensuring we have leadership from government, a fit for purpose further education – and that we improve our recent STEM track record. 

“As an example of the opportunities coming, there will be a need for developers and engineers who can develop and maintain AI-powered systems.

“Financial services more generally will always need a human touch – as clients require the experience and judgment of top quality professionals at some point in the chain.”

Mike also believes AI could create new job opportunities in compliance and cybersecurity – but that Scotland must be seen to be an attractive destination for talent and able to offer added value to ward off those looking to outsource roles.

Mike added: “Around 30 years ago we faced the digital revolution, which changed the status quo. We did a pretty good job at adapting what was a very traditional, established sector. There’s no reason we can’t be just as successful in the face of change this time round.” 

Founded by respected entrepreneur Betsy Williamson in 2005, Core-Asset Consulting is Scotland’s pre-eminent recruitment and headhunting agency dedicated to financial and professional services.

Based in Edinburgh, the £26m firm employs 23 people and works across the entire financial services sector, from the smallest boutiques to the biggest global players.

Initially the firm carved its reputation in Scotland’s globally-renowned asset management sector. However, the success of its model allowed it to expand across the wider financial services market. It now boasts dedicated accounting, investment operations and finance teams and also works in Scotland’s thriving legal sector.

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