Australian advice tech provider enters UK market

Australian advice tech provider enters UK market

Australian advice technology provider Ignition has launched into the UK market today (May 19), following successful integration with the Bank of Ireland. 

The provider is offering digital advice solutions for banks, wealth and asset managers, pension and insurance providers.

It offers fully-compliant, digital advice journeys technology across investments and wealth, pensions, and insurance. 

Ignition said its technology had been developed to facilitate hybrid, adviser-led and direct to customer advice journeys.

It is multi-currency and clients include both global players in the financial sector as well as domestic and midmarket enterprises.

Terry Donohoe, CEO for Europe at Ignition, said: “We are confident that there’s real demand in the UK financial services market for true digital advice. We’re bringing the Ignition technology platform to the UK in order to support financial institutions in helping their customers to make better financial decisions through secure, compliant digital advice solutions.

“A decade on from the Retail Distribution Review, the UK has one of the most mature financial advice markets in the world but significant barriers to entry persist for many customers.

"We know that financial services players are keen to address the broadest range of customer segments – they just haven’t had the right technology partner to enable them to do so. Ignition brings them that partner.”

Ignition launched in Australia in 2014 and expanded to Europe in 2017, opening an office in Dublin. It was appointed as the advice technology partner for Bank of Ireland the following year. 

The UK launch comes shortly after Ignition closed an Australian $26m (£14m) funding b-round, led by Morgan Stanley. As part of the launch, the tech provider opened offices in London and Edinburgh. 

Donohoe added: “Ignition technology has been developed to ensure financial institutions have the tools to reach and support the full spectrum of customers, with a white-label platform that brings together best-in-class technology that will appeal to both providers and advisers alike."

The wider market 

The UK robo-advice sector saw a flurry of launches in recent years, many of which attracted capital from large financial services firms such as Schroders, which backs Nutmeg, and Allianz, which backs Moneyfarm.

This latest technology launch comes after the Financial Conduct Authority pledged in December last year to continue to support the development of robo-advice after finding the the sector's assets have jumped by 700 per cent since 2016.

But not all of those in the space have fared as well as expected. In May 2019 it emerged Investec was closing its Click and Invest robo-advice business following two years of losses, while Moola shut its doors in January last year.

In January 2021, robo-adviser Scalable Capital became the latest to close its doors to the direct-to-consumer UK wealth market

Commentators have said the challenge faced by many robo-advice firms was the heavy cost of advertising and marketing to acquire new customers, while others have predicted they will have to evolve into technology providers in order to survive.