Robo-advice 

Clients like human interaction, Knight says

Clients like human interaction, Knight says

Consumers like to interact with a human rather than rely exclusively on robo-advice, Abbie Knight has said.

The head of digital at Embark Group told the Personal Finance Society's conference today (November 23) even when financial advice firms set up their own digital execution-only services, clients often call up the business to speak to a human being.

She said: "Clients want someone at the end of the phone who can verify what they are doing is the right thing and their savings are not going to disappear magically into the ether."

Ms Knight added that suitability was a particular problem for robo-advisers because that process often benefits from human interaction.

She said: "When you use a digital wealth manager you have this issue around suitability because there is a whole load of technology behind the scenes that comes up with a solution but it is a bit of a black box approach.

"Clients are always going to want to know that if they are pressing the button they are making the right decision."

Ms Knight said the majority of fintech experts thought the biggest innovations in robo-advice would be in the area of ongoing communication with clients, such as push alerts, but she said this was an area financial advisers could address.

damian.fantato@ft.com