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Banks Scaring Staff With Automation Talk, BofA's Tech Chief Says

Catherine Bessant, chief operations and technology officer of Bank Of America Corp., speaks during the Bloomberg Invest Summit in New York, on June 5. 

Catherine Bessant, chief operations and technology officer of Bank Of America Corp., speaks during the Bloomberg Invest Summit in New York, on June 5. 

Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

Bank of America Corp.’s top technology officer says finance-industry workers get spooked about their jobs because of how bosses talk about tech.

“A lot of the fear that we’ve created in our workforce has been exactly that: fear we’ve created,” Cathy Bessant, Bank of America’s chief operations and technology officer, said Tuesday at the Bloomberg Invest conference in New York. While automation is welcomed by shareholders, such talk can be “a little bit terrifying to people who say, ‘Wait a minute, it’s my job that’s going away.’"