Sumitomo Mitsui looks to automation in bid to slash employees’ work hours


Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. said Monday it will cut work equivalent to that done by 1,500 employees through the automation of routine activities and other tasks.

The major Japanese banking group hopes to meet the target by the end of fiscal 2019, it said.

The goal is part of the company’s aim to slash the work of 4,000 employees, to shorten working hours, in its medium-term management plan through fiscal 2019 which ends in March 2020.

To achieve the goal, Sumitomo Mitsui is working on automating tasks — including the collection of client information, creation of asset management briefings for customers and prevention of money laundering — by employing artificial intelligence and other technology.

The company estimates it will be able to cut around 1 million hours of work in fiscal 2017.