AI and banks at the heart of the discussions

AI and banks at the heart of the discussions
AI and banks at the heart of the discussions

(Agence Ecofin) – This was one of the discussion themes of the first biannual meeting of the Sub-Saharan Africa group of the Financial Stability Council. The question is at the center of the current concerns of the BCEAO which welcomed its peers.

The issue of integrating artificial intelligence (AI) in the banking sector was at the center of discussions in Dakar, Senegal, during the first biannual meeting of the year 2024 of the Regional Advisory Group of the Financial Stability Board for Sub-Saharan Africa (GCR-ASS) hosted by the BCEAO, which was held from May 22 to 23, 2023.

The details of these discussions were not revealed in the press release published after the meeting. However, the issue of AI in banking practices remains a major concern for the financial stability board, especially given the uncertainty surrounding the full understanding of this sector by central banks and regulators.

The subject is not new for the BCEAO. On March 24, 2024, its training center dedicated to managers of banking establishments organized a virtual conference on AI and the banking sector. More than a thousand professionals from the sector participated in this event, according to the press release published at the end of the activity.

However, for the Financial Stability Board, the main concern is not the use of AI per se, but the standards to be applied by banks using it to assess risks. It is possible that the proposed basic standards for market intermediaries and asset managers will also be tested in this context.

Currently, the focus is on the potential benefits of AI for the banking sector, including accelerating the analysis of risk profiles. “AI could automate more than 18% of tasks and accelerate the speed of execution of financial transactions. For example, ChatGPT, the best-known AI application, reduced the time needed to complete certain tasks by 40% while improving their quality by 18%, according to a study conducted by MIT in July 2023. explained Professor Marc Israel, who moderated the COFEB conference.

It is important to recall that the BCEAO shared its vision on these issues, while continuing to highlight its interest in better money transfer solutions, particularly within the UEMOA, as well as on the means to respond financing needs for resilience to climate challenges. This last sector, which also requires continuous learning, could use AI.

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