Last fall, Antony Jenkins, who was dismissed a few months earlier as chief executive of Barclays, the giant British bank, gave a speech in which he said a coming series of ‘‘Uber moments’’ would hit the financial industry.
I predict that the number of branches and people employed in the financial-services sector may decline by as much as 50 percent,’’ Jenkins told the audience. ‘‘Even in a less-harsh scenario, I expect a decline of at least 20 percent.’’ This process could, in at least some cases, help do away with some of the expensive bloat in the financial system, providing more transparent services with fewer hidden fees. It could also be seen as a satisfying blow against the titans of an industry that only recently almost crashed the world economy. But so far the burden of job losses is stopping just short of the executive suites, even as the gains in efficiency are worsening already troubling levels of income inequality.
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