This week’s tech news, filtered for financial services execs

June 20

Hello and welcome to Insights Distilled, a weekly email briefing that curates tactical technology news for financial services execs. Every Tuesday morning, we send you the top five stories you need to know – and explain why they matter. Our tech news roundup helps you stay on top of the innovations driving business agility in your industry. To get next week’s edition in your inbox, sign up here.


This week’s edition features relationships between FinServs and startups, banks and vendors, and developers and their new favorite tools.  

Let’s dive in: 

  1. Data play: JPMorgan adds sustainability focus to its investor data platform
  2. Network effects: 7 big banks are funding Trade Data Network
  3. Quantifying transformation: Citi attributes job cuts to its tech progress
  4. IRL BNPL: Citizens and a fintech partner to bring buy-now-pay-later to in-person services
  5. Engineering efficiency: Coders are flocking to AI

JPMorgan adds sustainability data to its platform for institutional investors.  

JPMorgan’s data platform for institutional investors is using a slew of partnerships to make ESG investing more cost effective for its clients, as environmental, social, and governance concerns continue to be a hot topic for regulators, board members, and customers alike. 

JPMorgan is making sustainability-focused investing easier and more efficient for its clients.  

The firm’s Fusion unit just announced partnerships with nine providers to bring sustainable investment data onto its platform. Fusion ultimately aims to give institutional investors faster access to timely analysis, compliance monitoring, and reporting, at a lower cost. 

“Data for sustainable investing is particularly challenging given its scale, inconsistency, and incompleteness,” head of data solutions Gerard Francis said. “Fusion combines data, technology, and service at scale, to enable investors to extract value in minutes instead of months.” 

Large financial institutions like JPMorgan ultimately want to help their clients achieve their ESG goals, which requires robust technology and reliable data. To that end, Bank of American and Goldman Sachs invested in an environmental markets platform earlier this year.  


Seven top sell-side banks invested $25.4 million to launch a data network for derivatives that aims to slash costs and delays for all.  

The biggest firms have a joint incentive to create a shared platform to fix chronic issues in exchange traded derivates processing, like fragmentation and lack of transparency.

Bank of America, Barclays, Citi, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, and BNP Paribas just invested $25.4 million in FIA Tech and its Trade Data Network (TDN) initiative.  

TDN – which currently includes 16 banks and brokers and 40 investment managers and hedge funds – aims to add cohesion and transparency to exchange traded derivatives post-trade processing. It will ultimately reduce overall costs and clearing delays for brokers. 

This group investment is just the latest example of top firms banding together on a tech solution that serves their collective interests: Insights Distilled previously covered efforts to report scams and combat fraud, connect various blockchains, and bring trust to carbon credit trading.  


CFO of Citibank says that the progress of its tech initiatives is driving job cuts.  

The dark side of efficiency for employees is that it can drive workplace reductions: As digital transformation plans make progress, banks are making layoffs. 

The progress of Citibank’s tech transformation projects is driving some of the thousands of layoffs it plans to make this year, chief financial officer Mark Mason said on stage during a recent Morgan Stanley conference.  

The bank is in the process of retiring legacy platforms and it’s moving its wholesale credit risk platforms to a standardized underwriting process.  

Over time, “we will no longer need the same level of people that we have at this particular phase,” Mason said on stage. “We’re reducing people even further … as we use that technology to automate a bunch of activities that we have to do manually today.” 

Citi’s tech-driven layoffs follows Capital One’s lead from earlier this year: The bank cut 1,100 people from within the agile development group of its tech department, saying that the frameworks it developed were becoming integrated into the bank’s core engineering practices, making jobs redundant. 


Citizens is teaming up with fintech Wisetack to offer buy-now-pay-later loans for in-person services, like home repairs and medical procedures.  

While online BNPL options exploded during the pandemic, Citizens sees a chance to differentiate itself by tackling in-person businesses, and it’s expanding its network faster by working with Wisetack. 

Citizens Bank is partnering with Wisetack to bring BNPL financing to more in-person services through the fintech’s network of merchants.  

“We’re excited to partner with Wisetack and their growing network of merchant partners to enable more customers to responsibly pay for critical purchases like home repairs, maintenance, and improvement,” Citizens exec Christine Roberts said.  

Digital BNPL providers like Klarna and Affirm have dominated ecommerce, while startups like Hokodo and Insight Partners’ portfolio company Resolve are taking on B2B-focused BNPL, but there’s a gap in service for SMBs that sell to consumers in-person.

Citizens has historically had high-profile BNPL partnerships with Apple, Microsoft, and Best Buy, but sees an opportunity to expand its reach. Working with Wisetack allows it to access many small-business customers through a single connection. 


Most developers are already using AI to make coding more efficient, according to two recent surveys.  

Programmers are embracing AI coding tools, though some remain skeptical of their accuracy. FinServs should deal with AI-powered programming proactively.

Recent surveys from GitHub and Stack Overflow show that AI-powered coding tools are making a big impact.  

GitHub partnered with Wakefield Research to survey 500 US-based enterprise developers and found that 92% are using AI coding tools and that 70% believe that AI is providing significant benefits to their code. More specifically, AI tools are helping them achieve improved code quality, faster outputs, and fewer production-level incidents. 

A Stack Overflow survey of ~89,000 global developers, meanwhile, showed similar uptake with more nuance around trust. The survey found that 70% of programmers were already using or planning to use AI coding tools this year, but only around 42% said they highly trust or somewhat trust those tools.  

The results of both surveys highlight why FinServs should be taking a proactive approach in guiding experiments with their developers: Because if they don’t, the engineers will probably use AI tools anyway.  

By setting up pilot projects for tracking the accuracy, safety, and efficiency of tools like GitHub Copilot, Tabnine, and AWS CodeWhisperer, FinServs can protect themselves and get a concrete understanding of benefits.  

For example, Goldman Sachs started proactively setting up experiments that allow engineers to use generative AI tools to write and test code more efficiently and is tracking the progress. 

Quick Bits:

Personnel news: HSBC’s head of global banking sustainability, Alexi Chan, is taking a five month sabbatical, and Cambridge Savings just hired a Santander and Bank of America alum – Tony Macchi – as its new SVP of digital.

Money moves: TransUnion invested $24 million in income verification platform Truework and formed a strategic partnership to help it take on industry heavyweight Equifax. In other strategic partnership news, Blackrock’s Aladdin platform is teaming up with Avaloq on tech tools for wealth managers.

Exec insights: M&T Bank CIO Mike Wisler shared his thoughts on the importance of being measured and deliberate, whether during a shift to the cloud or in upskilling workers: “One of the lessons that I learned previously and that we’re deploying here is ‘move slow to move fast.’” Plus, see what top FinServ leaders are saying about generative AI.

Industry happenings: Cyber insurance premiums surged 50% in 2022 because of increased ransomware attacks, while an IDC study found that global financial institutions will spend $57.1 billion on outdated payments systems in 2028 (up from $36.7 billion in 2022).


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