AI Emerging as a Key Site Selection Driver for the Banking and Financial Services Industry
The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) is disrupting the banking and financial services industry, unearthing great opportunities for efficiencies, and at the same time, creating new challenges. One of these new challenges is determining the best location to relocate or to expand operations and transactions centers for the industry.
Over the next several years as new technologies like AI take hold, there are concerns that many jobs will be lost and the impact of labor on the site selection process will be mitigated. In the banking industry alone, it is estimated that more than 1 million jobs will be lost to AI over the next 10 years.
But that projection fails to tell the whole story. What our banking and financial services clients are telling us is that AI will indeed displace jobs in some areas but will also create a significant number of new jobs elsewhere in the organization. What matters most today is talent for smart automation and for us, as location advisors to the industry, where do we find this talent for our site-seeking clients?
Given our clients’ need for the latest, leading edge AI skillsets and the academic resources for continuing education and retraining of displaced workers, our site searches today are focusing heavily on those North American markets housing outstanding academic programs in artificial intelligence. Our searches also prioritize those cities housing a sizeable precedent base of financial services operations along with a favorable operating cost profile.
With the paradigm of artificial intelligence as a new site selection driver, these 25 cities show superior fit for our relocating and expanding banking and financial services clients. (See table below). Cities are ranked by the Boyd Location Quotient (BLK) which indicates how the percentage of the local area’s total employment in financial services compares with the average for the nation as a whole. Comparative office operating costs are also provided for each city.
Top Ranked Cities for AI Recruiting
The top ranked city overall – Montreal – benefits from Canada’s open immigration policies for global AI hiring, its exceptionally deep pool of workers in financial services and a favorable exchange rate. Montreal has already attracted some 2,000 jobs from Bostonbased State Street and New York City-based Morgan Stanley along with major AI players DeepMind, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Samsung. Montreal houses one of the world’s top labs for AI research: The MILA (Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms) headed by Yoshua Bengio, one of the founders of machine learning.
The top ranked U.S. city – Salt Lake City – houses the University of Utah's School of Computing which is one of the top AI programs in the West along with growing operations centers of Discover Card, American Express, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and Fidelity.