Ant Financial gained about 100m new clients last year, taking its total above 500m, almost 10 times the level of the world’s biggest banks. One bank chairman noted that Ant now have “huge amount of data” and “a great ability to make credit decisions”. The tone of jealousy was hard to miss.
“I do think employment in finance will decrease and those people working in the industry will be doing very different kinds of jobs,” says Ralph Hamers, chief executive of ING, who in the last few months has announced plans to shed 7,000 of the Dutch bank’s 54,000 staff. Overall, as many as 1.7m jobs are expected to be lost as banks digitise operations over the next decade, Citigroup predicted recently.