The U.S. bank that received the largest portion of federal money during the Great Recession’s taxpayer-sponsored government bailout — a total of $476.2 billion in cash and guarantees — is now poised to replace tens of thousands of its call center employees with AI, according to Fortune.
Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat told the Financial Times this week that the effort will result in an improved experience for customers and cost savings for the company.
Citi is the fourth-largest U.S. bank and according to the FT spends about $8 billion each year on technology. The bank is also under pressure to trim costs.
Corbin said people will still staff the Citi’s call centers, as AI will be unable to handle certain issues beyond the more common questions customers might bring.
“There’ll always be the kind of thing where you’ve actually got to have someone to help solve,” Corbat said. “We don’t want people frustrated in that.”
Former Citi CEO Vikram Pandit said two years ago that up to one-third of the banks jobs potentially could be swapped out for AI within five years, Fortune noted.
The bank has 209,000 employees worldwide.
CNBC reported in 2011, following a report from the Congressional Oversight Panel that oversaw the TARP program, that Citigroup raked in $476.2 billion in total bailout money after the financial crash in 2008.
Of that total, “$25 billion came from the TARP's CPP program, $68.6 billion came from the FDIC's TLGP debt issuance program, and $88 billion came from the Federal Reserve's TAF liquidity program, among others.”