Robo-advice 

Natwest's robo-advice to cost just £10

Natwest's robo-advice to cost just £10

NatWest will launch its robo-advice service on Monday (20 November), charging just £10 if the customer decides to invest.

Customers will be asked about their goals, their financial situation and their attitude to risk to receive a report containing a personal recommendation.

They will be able to invest as little as a £500 lump sum or £50 per month in a range of five diversified funds each with a different risk-rating.

Fund charges in the NatWest Invest service are capped at 0.6 per cent a year of the total fund size and customers will only be charged for the advice if they decide to invest.

Phil Northey, managing director of premier banking at Natwest, said: "At NatWest we are very focussed on meeting our customers’ needs and it is clear that too many of our customers are not able to get the investment advice they need.

"Their expectations are also changing. They are increasingly choosing to bank with us digitally. We have responded by launching an online investment advice service.

"This will help our customers to get on in their lives and to achieve their financial goals.

"We’re proud to be the only UK bank offering such a service to our customers."

The advice is regulated and given online, and the personal recommendation includes a recommendation for how much they should invest, which fund or funds are right for them, and how the individual should use their Isa allowance.

The funds customers can invest in are available as an Isa and while there is no minimum term a customer needs to hold the investment for, according to Mr Northey the service is aimed at those who can afford to leave the money untouched for at least five years.

If the service or investing isn’t right for a customer, it will suggest an alternative option for no charge.

Last year NatWest's parent company, Royal Bank of Scotland, said it would no longer be offering face-to-face investment advice for customers with assets of less than £250,000.

This meant 550 jobs were lost, including 221 advice roles.

But since then the company has been investing in an online platform for those with as little as £500 to invest.

RBS said it is also working on robo-advice for mortgages, which it expects to roll-out by the third quarter of 2017, but it did not respond to questions about what stage this was at.

damian.fantato@ft.com