Barclays has launched an online investing service in a bid to take on advisory rivals such as Hargreaves Lansdown.
According to Barclays the service will make it easier for people to manage their own investments and plan for the future, and customers of the bank will have online banking and investment accounts fully integrated for the first time through one login.
It will be made available to Barclays’ customers initially, with non-Barclays customers able to open an account in 2017.
In a similar move to Hargreaves Lansdown, the largest direct investment platform in the UK, Barclays will offer a core list of more than 50 funds that have achieved a certain level of performance.
The service will give customers the opportunity to create a personalised financial plan based around their life goals, and work towards achieving these with the support of a range of tools and content.
There is no minimum investment amount so it will be available to anyone, however, guidance and a tool which helps customers decide whether they are ready to invest are provided to ensure customers consider whether saving cash is right for them before they commit any money.
Research from the Lang Cat this month, based on analysis of direct to consumer online investment services has shown for many Barclays' service will be among the lowest-cost online investment services available.
Clare Francis, savings and investments director at Barclays, said: “Factors such as longer life expectancy, spiraling house prices and high university costs mean it’s more important than ever for people to plan for their future financial security – yet we know many are not saving enough to meet these goals.
“There are a number of reasons for this, including a lack of awareness and understanding about financial products and feeling that investing in the stock market is complicated and risky.
"The new service has been designed as an easy-to-use service to help break down some of these barriers and give people the confidence to make smarter financial decisions, to achieve their financial goals.”