When it comes to the United Kingdom, the financial sector leads the way when it comes to using artificial intelligence (AI), according to new research from Microsoft. For traders looking to leverage up in the financial sector, this could be a trading opportunity for Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X ETF (NYSEArca: FAS) and Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X ETF (NYSEArca: FAZ), depending on where their intuitions are.

Microsoft’s report showed that nearly three-quarters (72%) of banks, insurance firms and other financial institutions are incorporating the use of AI technology. When looking at the last 12 months, this shows a 7% increase and is 56% higher compared to the national average.

Furthermore, the report revealed that businesses using AI are performing an average of 11.5% better versus those who have yet to adopt the technology—an increase of 5% compared to last year.

“It is very early days for AI in the UK financial services industry, although UK banks are pretty much on the same level as the rest of Europe’s financial firms, if not slightly ahead,” wrote financial author and blogger Chris Skinner. “The banks in America and China are doing some really impressive stuff; for example, using an AI engine to analyse contracts and do in one second what previously took 360,000 hours of legal time. The biggest issue most institutions face is the fact they have 50 years of infrastructure that they need to now turn into a rationalised structure for intelligent customer servicing and marketing.”

Future of Finance

Will this development show more strength in the financial sector or disrupt current operations?

FAS seeks daily investment results equal to 300% of the daily performance of the Russell 1000® Financial Services Index. The fund invests at least 80% of its net assets in financial instruments and securities of the index, ETFs that track the index and other financial instruments that provide daily leveraged exposure to the index or ETFs that track the index. The index is a subset of the Russell 1000® Index that measures the performance of the securities classified in the financial services sector of the large-capitalization U.S. equity market.

FAZ seeks daily investment results that equate to 300% of the inverse (or opposite) of the daily performance of the Russell 1000® Financial Services Index. The fund invests in swap agreements, futures contracts, short positions or other financial instruments that, in combination, provide inverse or short leveraged exposure to the index equal to at least 80% of the fund’s net assets. The index is a subset of the Russell 1000® Index that measures the performance of the securities classified in the financial services sector of the large-capitalization U.S. equity market.

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