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Lloyds to launch robo-advice in 2020

Lloyds to launch robo-advice in 2020

Lloyds Bank will be introducing a mass market robo-advice offering for clients with assets under £100,000, which should be available in 2020.

Antonio Lorenzo, Lloyds group director for insurance and wealth, made the announcement during the banking group’s 2019 half year results on July 31, said the group was “creating a market leading wealth management proposition” for its customers.

The robo-advice service will be available to Lloyds and Halifax customers and will be part of the group's new initiatives in the online space.

FTAdviser reported in July that Lloyds was working on offering advice and guidance through its mobile app, alongside better functionality around pension top ups.

The banking group has 22m clients in total across its several financial services brands.

Mr Lorenzo explained the robo-adviser will be the first of three lines of businesses in this area.

The second is Schroders Personal Wealth for clients with more than £100,000 in investable assets or income seeking advice.

The joint venture, owned 50.1 per cent by Lloyds and 49.9 per cent by Schroders, launched for private banking customers in June and will be opened to the wider market later in 2019.

The third line is its offering for customers with more than £1m of assets through Cazenove Capital.

Mr Lorenzo stated Schroders Personal Wealth “is well positioned to meet its ambition of becoming a top three financial planning business by the end of 2023”.

He added: “Having established the company in the first of half of 2019, Schroders Personal Wealth will launch to the market later this year, operating a restricted model with a wide product set.

“We believe that a best-in-class product offering, combined with transparent and competitive fees, will be attractive to customers in the growing mass affluent market.”

Paul Gibson, managing director at Granite Financial Planning, said there was a shortage of advisers operating in the sub £100,000 market.

He added: "Robo-advice may well be the answer but whether a target driven bank can deliver it is another matter. I do wish Lloyds well with this initiative."

A number of advisers innovating within the AI space have sprung into the market lately, with Rosecut being the latest robo-adviser to launch.

But robo-advisers have come and gone in recent years, many citing cost problems for their departure.

In May Investec closed its Click and Invest robo-advice business following two years of losses which amounted to about £32m.

Concerns have meanwhile been raised about the regulation of robo-advice, as tech experts said a proposition based solely on artificial intelligence cannot be fully regulated because it is impossible to track the decision process.

maria.espadinha@ft.com

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