Robo-advice  

Nationwide to offer robo-advice

Nationwide to offer robo-advice

Nationwide will be testing a digital investment advice service in the Financial Conduct Authority's regulatory sandbox, it has been announced.

The FCA has published the latest list of firms which will test their new services in a regulatory safe space.

This is the third cohort of firms that will be working with the FCA, and it includes 18 firms from across the financial services sector.

The regulator confirmed Nationwide will be testing an automated solution providing digital savings guidance and investment advice.

Last year Nationwide hired Chris Williams as digital advice director from online investment adviser Wealth Horizon, which he had founded.

At the time of the hire the building society told FTAdviser it was "not in a position to confirm" whether this meant it would be launching a digital advice service.

Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA, said: "Since we first opened the sandbox, it has supported almost 70 firms in testing innovative new products and services.

"It is particularly encouraging that we are now seeing more applicants from outside London and a broader range of firms testing in the sandbox.

"As we open the application window for our next sandbox cohort, we continue to encourage applications from firms of all sizes and from a wide range of sectors, including sectors we haven’t seen heavily represented in the sandbox to date."

The third cohort also includes a service from Economic Data Sciences which consists of a technology solution that uses artificial intelligence to provide fund managers with a mathematically-defined optimal trade-off among a number of risks and objectives during the investment selection process.

Meanwhile First Direct will work with the FCA on an app which learns customers attributes from transactional and demographic data to find financial and non-financial products from a marketplace of First Direct, HSBC and other institutions.

Orca is looking to test a peer-to-peer investment aggregation platform that facilitates investment in a diversified portfolio of P2P loans.

The FCA received 61 submissions for the third phase of the regulatory sandbox.

It has also started accepting applications for the fourth phase of the sandbox, which will begin testing in June 2018.

Nationwide was asked to comment on its plans for automated advice.

damian.fantato@ft.com