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Lloyds to offer pension advice via app

Lloyds to offer pension advice via app

Lloyds Bank is working on allowing savers to top up their pension pot instantly via its mobile app, while also offering guidance and advice solutions through the same service.

A pilot launched last year allows clients to see the value of their pot when they log into their bank account online, and has now reached more than 3m customers.

About 300,000 customers of the banking group – which also includes Halifax and Bank of Scotland – have been viewing their pensions alongside banking products daily since the feature was introduced.

Lloyds' plan is to allow interactive use of the app when it comes to pensions, such as the ability to pay into a pension, and to include information about other services consumers might use, such as insurance and wealth management.

They will also be given the option to seek advice via Schroders Personal Wealth – Lloyds' advice joint venture with Schroders – with the aim of reaching 9m clients by 2020. The banking group has 22m clients in total across its several financial services brands.

A Lloyds spokesperson told FTAdviser the banking group’s plan was "most definitely to build that capability for people to transact and provide customers with a comprehensive choice of execution-only, guidance and advice solutions".

There is no set timeline for the goal, as the details of how the pensions advice platform will work are still being developed.

The advice joint venture, owned 50.1 per cent by Lloyds and 49.9 per cent by Schroders, launched for private banking customers in June and will be opened to the wider market later in 2019.

Earlier this year the two companies confirmed that clients wanting access to Schroders Personal Wealth would need to have a minimum of £100,000 investable assets

Scottish Widows, which was integrated into the Lloyds banking app in January 2018, said it had seen significantly increased customer engagement as a result.

Robert Cochran, retirement expert at the provider, said: "Customers log in more than 20 times a month to online banking on average, and if we contrast that with how often people would normally view their pensions – it’s a massive step change. Some customers are telling us they’ve forgotten even having these pensions.

"We saw a significant spike in calls as customers started to be able to view their pensions in online with mobile banking, but this will naturally start to cool as it becomes normal – and that is exactly what we’re trying to do – get people to engage with their retirement saving in a similar way to how they do their everyday banking."

Mr Cochran said seeing the value of their pension pot had prompted consumers to ask about options for accessing their pension pot, how they can contribute more and how to bring in pension funds from other pots to get "this simple view of their pension assets".

He added: "We are working on the next stage of development, such as greater ability to make contributions, while continuing to find innovative ways to help people become more in tune with their financial future."