The Importance of AI Literacy for Financial Institution Boards


June 26, 2024


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Key insights

Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly transforming the financial services industry. As technology evolves, so do the risks and opportunities associated with AI.

When considering risk, financial institution boards need to weigh ethical considerations, privacy and data security, and the regulatory landscape.

Some upsides of AI for financial institutions include fraud detection, customer service improvements, and increasing efficiency.

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The importance of artificial intelligence (AI) literacy cannot be overlooked as AI is rapidly transforming the financial services industry. As this technology evolves, so do the risks and opportunities.

Bank and credit union boards of directors must stay informed about the implications of artificial intelligence. Learn key AI literacy considerations for your financial institution’s board.

Navigating artificial intelligence risks

Regulatory landscape

Regulation often lags technological advancements. While financial institution regulatory agencies have yet to publish specific AI-related rules, organizations should proactively address artificial intelligence risks.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology released an Artificial Intelligence Risk Management Framework in April 2024. This framework provides guidance on evaluating and assessing AI risks, emphasizing principles like governance, mapping, measurement, and management. This framework can be helpful to your financial services board.

Privacy and data security

Artificial intelligence and data analytic systems handle vast amounts of customer data. Boards must verify processes AI applications perform comply with privacy laws and protect sensitive information. Policies should restrict using customer data within AI programs without proper authorization.

Ethical considerations

Decisions made by artificial intelligence systems can impact customers, employees, and communities. Boards should discuss the ethical implications of AI, including fairness, equity, transparency, and bias. Responsible AI practices are essential to maintain public trust. Financial institution boards who have a plan with AI literacy can navigate it more smoothly.

Leveraging artificial intelligence benefits

Customer service and efficiency

Artificial intelligence can enhance customer experiences by automating routine tasks, improving response times, and personalizing interactions. Explore AI tools for better customer service and operational efficiency.

Fraud detection and prevention

AI-powered algorithms can detect fraudulent activities more accurately than traditional methods. Evaluate AI tools for fraud prevention and risk mitigation.

Strategic alignment

Align artificial intelligence initiatives with your organization’s strategic goals. Whether it’s improving loan underwriting or streamlining back-office processes, AI should support your financial institution’s mission.

Financial institution board responsibilities with AI

Education and training

Invest in AI literacy. Directors need to understand artificial intelligence concepts, terminology, and potential applications. Regular training sessions can bridge knowledge gaps.

Oversight and accountability

Financial institution boards should oversee artificial intelligence implementation, monitor risks, and hold management accountable. Regular reporting on AI projects promotes transparency and informed decision-making.

Collaboration with management

Effective collaboration between financial services boards and management is crucial to successful AI literacy. Boards should actively engage with technology leaders, seek technical advice, and foster a culture of innovation.

AI literacy is no longer optional for bank and credit union boards. By understanding AI risks and benefits, your board of directors can guide the institutions toward responsible and effective AI adoption. As the technology landscape evolves, stay informed and adapt for long-term success.


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Tim Dively

Digital Growth Director

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