With financial institutions seeing declining revenues with high-margin trading, banks are looking at innovative ways to extract as much profit as possible from existing income streams.

One of those innovative ideas comes from the the world's largest bank by revenue, JPMorgan, which is said to be trialling the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to improve its trading performance. 

Peter Brown from the Institute of Investing and Financial Trading said the plan is for AI to assist in the execution of client orders.

"The market has changed dramatically over the last number of decades. I mean, you used to be able to make quite a margin on client orders - especially trading equities.

"That's diminished as clients get technology themselves and see where the price is. The ability from the financial institution to actually charge a margin, that's getting less and less.

"So, now the focus is really on volume. In terms of doing volume, it's far easier for a computer to do it efficiently than it is for a human being.

"There's a huge investment in the financial markets in AI and computerisation."

Mr Brown believes the use of AI may herald "a massive culling of sales people in the financial markets".

"There's no question about it that computers do that much better. That's been happening in the foreign exchange markets for a decade, most foreign exchange is now transacted via computer programmes.

"So, yes there is going to be a huge cull in people who are actually just sitting there transacting clients' orders."

The trading analyst also said there is a massive move towards computerisation in financial services.

Though, he pointed out that one of the more significant developments is that "an individual now sitting at home can screen for stocks in the financial markets in milliseconds - what it used to take hundreds of analysts in the past to do."

Mr Brown said using AI to execute trades will become mainstream very quickly, but "the real question of course is will these computers develop to a stage where they'll actually pick the stocks themselves without a human being - and that's the most interesting thing.

He added that he expects extreme advances in technology to continue to drive profit margins for banks on trades lower.