// . //  Insights //  What Economic Slowdowns And AI Mean For Banks


Banks will need to invest a lot of money in both fronts: in the business lines and also in protecting the banks and their clients from those risks
Margarita Delgado, Deputy Governor, Banco de España

From data privacy to cybersecurity, AI offers opportunities and risks in banking. Banks must learn to navigate economic slowdowns and the rise of generative AI.

Watch more from the New Monetary Order Video Series and discover how financial institutions are adapting to the evolving monetary landscape.

What we have seen is that the latest projections of the European Central Bank, in the European context, they've produced, between June and September, a drop of the Gross domestic product for the whole Eurozone of 1%. So, the economy is really slowing down these quarters.

What does that mean for the banking sector? At the same time, interest rates hike and have several impacts in the activity and the balance sheet of the banks. So first of all, of course, we will need to really pay attention to the quality of the assets, secondly to the asset valuation more generally and precisely sovereign debt, and also potential volatility in the markets. Having said that, we don't see major impacts in the banks due to their really good situation at the very beginning of this new era for a higher interest rates.

I do believe that the most stable funding sources come from the retail segment, at least in my home country and more generally in Europe, stable deposits are very linked to retail depositors. Having said that, of course, due to the episodes of March, we need to take lessons and probably one of the lessons to be learned for the future is to review the hypothesis underneath the different liquidity ratios.

Also the modeling of the non-maturing deposits and, finally to make more operational the funding plans of the banks. And this is a true task for both supervisors and banks. Banks have been outsourcing different services for ages already. There've been different approaches from the different supervisors. Now, under Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) regulation, we will have a unified approach for European banks that will impose, of course, additional regulatory burden for the banks. But also, this will probably limit the risks. As in many other areas there are challenges, but there are opportunities and there are also risks. And for us supervisors, I think, where we also see risks, it will be another task to check how these outsourced services are really analyzed, assess and, of course, how banks remain accountable for those.

First of all, we need to recognize that a lot has been done in this front and banks and bankers are much more sensitive to these risks. And they've reduced a lot, not only in size, but also in percentage of their balance sheets, the size of the sovereign portfolio. So this is one thing, the levels are similar to the ones in 2018 and before, so the situation is totally different compared to the great financial crisis. Secondly, the European Central Bank has already devised and crafted out a mechanism to really avoid fragmentation in the market, and it has not been used because there is no need. But in case it is needed, the European Central Bank is ready to activate the TPI to reduce the fragmentation in the market. So currently I don't see any problem in the near future.

There's so many aspects that could be impacted by the artificial intelligence, but for me, the key question here again, are the risks. In my opinion, there are two fronts where the banks should focus on. First of all is data privacy and also risk of privacy and deontological and ethical front, and, secondly, on cybersecurity. So as much as you are exposed to technological devices, the higher the risk are. So banks will need to really invest a lot of money in both fronts, in the business lines, and also in protecting the banks and their clients from those risks.