Robo-advice  

Consumers back human advisers over robos

Consumers back human advisers over robos

Face-to-face advice is still preferred over robo-advice when it comes to financial planning, according to research.

Data from Openwork, published today (October 22), showed despite a surge in robo-solutions in the market consumers still prefer face-to-face advice when it comes to planning their finances.

Openwork polled 1,014 consumers earlier this year and found 71 per cent had concerns robo-advice would not be appropriate for their financial needs while 73 per cent said they would prefer to receive advice face to face.

According to Openwork, this showed a “clear preference” for human interaction when receiving financial advice and backed the “huge opportunities” to pursue a career in the industry.

But the survey also showed that young people were more supportive of robo-solutions, with nearly half (44 per cent) of under-25s having no concerns that robo-advice might not be appropriate for their needs.

Claire Limon, director of learning and acquisition at Openwork, said: “It is clear that robo-solutions are becoming increasingly advanced. 

“However, consumers are still unsure if it is right for their financial needs and do not feel that it can substitute human interaction.

“There is strong demand for face-face-advice and Openwork is committed to increasing the number of advisers in the UK from as diverse a talent pool as possible.

Warning bells have been sounded recently over a recruitment crisis in the advice industry as 15,000 advisers are set to leave the profession in the next ten years, the majority of whom are considering retiring.

At the same time a number of advisers innovating within the AI space have sprung to the market lately, with Rosecut targeting the "middle market" space while Lloyds' robo-solutions will be for the mass market

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 also been raised that full robo-advice could be impossible to regulate unless the process behind the decision making is explainable.

imogen.tew@ft.com

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