Research and innovation in internet of things (IoT) in the private banking sector has declined in the last year.

The most recent figures show that the number of IoT patent applications in the industry stood at eight in the three months ending November – down from 26 over the same period last year.

Figures for patent grants related to IoT followed a similar pattern to filings – shrinking from 28 in the three months ending November last year to 17 this year.

The figures are compiled by GlobalData, who track patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Using textual analysis, as well as official patent classifications, these patents are grouped into key thematic areas, and linked to key companies across various industries.

IoT is one of the key areas of innovation tracked by GlobalData. It has been identified as being a key disruptive force facing companies in the coming years, and is one of the areas that companies investing resources in now are expected to reap rewards from.

The figures also provide an insight into the largest innovators in the sector.

Bank of America Corp was the top internet of things innovator in the private banking sector in the last quarter. The company, which has its headquarters in the United States, filed 12 IoT related patents in the three months ending November. That was down from 15 over the same period last year.

It was followed by the United States based The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc with six IoT patent applications, the United States based Wells Fargo & Co (3 applications), and Canada based Royal Bank of Canada (3 applications).