Eric Wagner, Head of Group Financial Crime, Erste Group Bank AG.
Eric, can you please tell the Risk Insights readers a little bit about yourself, your experiences and what your current professional focus is
A sound balance between IT and business was always key for me. Starting with my studies in economics and computer science, I’ve acquired more than 25 years experience in banking and IT starting in IT consultancy and then in both IT and business areas of banks. My current position is dedicated on fighting financial crime with a focus on all kinds of fraud, bribery and corruption as well as conflicts of interest.
We are looking forward to your presentation on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning at the upcoming Fraud and Financial Crime Summit. Why do you feel this is an important talking point?
Currently banks use too much manpower in a very ineffective and inefficient way due to the inherent limits of current solutions/approaches. Furthermore, I would like to put the picture right. Artificial Intelligence is a bit overhyped, but still vastly underestimated by bank managers. With the right people and the right approach, it can unleash unknown potentials for efficiency and effectiveness in almost every bank area. Financial Crime is an area where in the meantime both sides (criminals and banks) apply machine learning approaches and the technological race will pace out those who underestimate it now.
Finally, what challenges do you foresee within the Fraud and Financial Crime landscape over the coming years?
Start now building up the new knowledge areas (data scientists, machine learning adept IT developers, etc.) and empower agile teams to also experience periods of trial & error. In addition, prepare your workforce for the upcoming fundamental shift.