Technomoral Financial Agents: Ethics in the Fintech Era


Dr Marta Rocchi


7th edition (2018/2019)


Education / Ethics / Technology

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The discussion on the future of finance, with particular reference to the fintech (financial technology) sector, is lively in academia (Bussmann, 2017; Lynn, Mooney, Rosati, & Cummins, 2019; Turner et al., 2010), among practitioners (e.g. KPMG International, 2018; PwC, 2017), and in the public arena (e.g. in Europe and in the USA, see Karakas & Stamegna, 2017; Mnuchin & Phillips, 2018; Stamegna & Karakas, 2019). It is part of the wider debate on the future of work (World Economic Forum, 2018) and the disruptive wave of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Schwab, 2016).

The future of finance shares some of the same questions and concerns about the future of work: whether and to what extent artificial agents will be able to replace human agents in their daily jobs; how employment will be affected; what new occupations will be generated by technology, and consequently which new roles will human agents be able to perform (Bartleby, 2018; World Economic Forum, 2018). Specifically in reference to finance, this debate mainly concerns the rise of the fintech industry and the increasing automation of financial activity (Chishti & Barberis, 2016). Can financial technologies replace what traditional finance currently encompasses? Which jobs will be completely automated and which new ones will be created in the future of finance (Mancher, Huff, Grabowski, & Thomas, 2018)? How is the generation of trust affected (Greiner & Wang, 2010)? How will regulation keep up with the pace of technological change (Treleaven, 2015)?

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