Anticipating client needs and solving for them in innovative ways

RBC leads the way for AI Innovation in finance in new ranking index

Innovations in AI are opening a world of possibilities for individuals and organizations alike. Understanding their full potential has never been more important.

Long a proponent of innovation in the financial sector, RBC CEO Dave McKay and his leadership team set out to prioritize the bank’s digital capabilities, harness the potential of transformational technologies, and develop the best and most personalized client experiences possible. Understanding how technology is changing the way clients bank and can be used to reimagine what it means to be a leading financial institution is an unwavering focus.

The responsible use of artificial intelligence (AI) is an important pillar in RBC’s innovation strategy and the bank was recently ranked #2 among North American banks assessment of AI readiness.

“As the real-world application of AI accelerates at astonishing speed, we believe that this transformation is too important — for managers, for investors, for society at large — to be happening in isolation,” says Annabel Ayles, co-founder, Evident. The Evident AI Index measures the race to banking AI maturity in a way that brings transparency to the top of the agenda.”

RBC has collectively brought multiple AI-enabled products to market. NOMI uses data-driven insights to help retail customers better manage their finances by tracking spending, automating budgeting, suggesting opportunities for saving and forecasting future cash flow. Traders and AI scientists worked side-by-side to deliver a real-world solution through the launch of Aiden® and subsequent launch of Aiden Arrival – using deep reinforcement learning to navigate dynamic market conditions in real time in its pursuit of improved trading results and insights for clients.

“Since launching the Aiden platform in 2020, we partnered closely with clients to develop a more holistic tool for primary benchmarks and solve for greater simplicity,” Bobby Grubert, Head, Digital Solutions & Client Insights‎, RBC Capital Markets, said. “The launch of Aiden Arrival signals an important milestone in the expansion of our innovative Aiden trading platform. This is just the beginning of the full opportunity for clients to have better performing trading tools.”
Photo : RBC was recently ranked #2 among North American banks assessment of AI readiness.
At Tech@RBC, more than 10,000 global employees use bold ambition to harness the power of AI, machine learning, app development, cyber security and more. This includes exploring the application of innovations in AI such as generative AI – artificial intelligence that can generate new and realistic content like Large Language Models to reimagine the client experience, solve for process efficiencies, and empower its workforce to build the bank of the future.

“RBC is rethinking the role of technology in financial services to better anticipate client needs and solve for them in innovative ways,” says Sal Vella, VP, Technology Strategy, Innovation and Architecture. “With significant investment in new technologies including AI, we are bringing more insight and value to clients and communities about their finances.”
The bank, however, is careful to avoid innovation for innovation’s sake. “A client-focused mindset means being in the business of people and trust in addition to finance and technology, says Alex LaPlante, Interim Head, Borealis AI – the bank’s dedicated AI research and development centre. “We see a world where many client interactions and business decisions are enhanced by AI. We also recognize that we have a responsibility to build these technologies in a safe and ethical manner, addressing issues of fairness, bias, transparency and privacy. By putting the client first in our development practices, we ensure that our AI solutions respect diversity and human integrity, and achieve our purpose of helping clients thrive and communities prosper.”

To support this, in 2020, Borealis AI launched RESPECT AI, an online hub that brings open source research code, tutorials and academic research to the AI community (from researchers to developers) and democratizes the knowledge and tools around ethical AI.

RBC also understands its ability to deploy advanced technologies to reimagine what it means to be a leading financial institution requires a laser focus on being an employer of choice for technologies.
Tech@RBC, for instance, partners with universities and professional organizations like Vector Institute and Creative Destruction Lab to ensure the bank is not only building world class tech but attracting and building world class talent.

RBC also runs an intensive, technology-focused program called Amplify where post-secondary students and graduates have opportunities to develop in-demand professional, technical and creative skills while tackling meaningful challenges. More than 70 patent applications have been filed since the program’s inception in 2016.

Innovation is core to RBC’s future success, and through labs across the globe, they are focused on looking at how AI, Machine Learning and language models can better enable its vision to help clients and communities prosper.