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Live chat too ‘clunky’ for private banking 

Live chat too ‘clunky’ for private banking 
 

Live chat is too “clunky” for the digital private banking experience, according to executives appearing on FTAdviser's latest webinar. 

Asked why C Hoare & Co does not use live chat or deem it a priority, Chris Loake, the private bank’s chief technology and operations officer said the technology it deploys should be to “supercharge the personal relationships, not replace them”.

“The current generation of technology and live chat can be a bit clunky, even when it’s got a user sitting behind it,” Loake explained.

“You are still relying upon people managing multiple chats at once. You have the complexity of getting all the grammar and spelling right. It’s not that straight forward when you’re managing all those chats at once.

“There’s a level of sophistication that you can give in face-to-face or telephone conversations that’s probably a bit better at the moment.”

Also taking part in the webinar was Tara Palmer, group chief operating officer at Kleinwort Hambros. She said: “I suspect its [live chat's] purpose is largely in signposting. We have to be conscious of the suitability of the advice we’re giving. Live chat stops at a certain threshold.”

At Kleinwort Hambros, Palmer said her team has used other tools to help clients consume information in different ways.

As well as podcasts, Societe Generale's private banking and wealth management division hosts live investment committee updates with open Q&As “so clients can feel proximity with their advisers in an alternative way”, she explained.

“We’re seeing clients consume information in different ways, so we’re adjusting the tools [to allow] the client more choice as to how they are advised, [and] how they receive their updates,” she explained.

“But what remains at its core is that trusted adviser. So that personal service. Especially in the very early stages of a relationship.”

Loake agreed. “It’s about choice. People, in the last couple of years, have been choosing to do things in a radically different way. Some people will maintain that, and some people will choose to work in a different way.

“What they all share, though, is that they all want it to be easy and right for them. So I think that’s where we have to focus our attention.”

Hosted by FTAdviser in partnership with Unblu, this 50-minute webinar also heard from Jens Rabe, chief operating officer at Unblu, and Michael Sherwood, head of digital experience at Atom Bank.

You can listen back to the full webinar here, which was chaired by Damian Fantato, deputy editor at FTAdviser.

ruby.hinchliffe@ft.com