Machine Learning (ML) is increasingly being used in UK financial services, according to findings of a joint survey conducted by the Bank of England (BoE) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The survey, conducted in 2019, was sent to almost 300 firms, including banks, credit brokers, e-money institutions, financial market infrastructure firms, investment managers, insurers, non-bank lenders and principal trading firms, with a total of 106 responses received.

The report says the application of machine learning methods has the potential to improve outcomes for both businesses and consumers. In recent years, improved software and hardware, as well as increasing volumes of data, have accelerated the pace of ML development. The UK financial sector is beginning to take advantage of this. The promise of ML is to make financial services and markets more efficient, accessible and tailored to consumer needs. At the same time, existing risks may be amplified if governance and controls do not keep pace with technological developments. More broadly, ML also raises profound questions around the use of data, complexity of techniques and the automation of processes, systems and decision-making.