IBM Is Buying One of the Most Influential Firms on Wall Street
by Lucinda Shen
IBMis getting into the business of advising Wall Street—using artificial intelligence. The tech firm agreed on Thursday to buy Promontory Financial Group—a global consulting firm that has advised Wall Street’s biggest through theannual bank stress tests. Promontory’s 600 someex-regulators and former Wall Streeterswill train IBM’s artificial intelligence platform, Watson, how to advise financial institutions on regulatory compliance…. IBM’s Watson was used commercially for the first time at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to help diagnose patients and recommend treatments. Watson does so by sifting through its database filled with millions of oncology studies, and making recommendations just seconds or minutes later,Wiredreported. Not only is it faster than a human mind and more accurate, but IBM says Watson could help lower healthcare costs. If those same benefits could be realized in bank compliance, it would be a major relief to big banks, which have complained that the cost of regulatory compliance has shot up dramatically since the financial crisis. New and heavy regulation following the financial crisis cost the six biggest U.S. banks $70.2 billion through the end of 2013 according to a study by Federal Financial Analytics. For example,J.P. MorganChase hired some 4,000 compliance officers in 2013, whileCitigroupis said to be spending an additional$1.7 billion in 2015in compliance related investments.