Banks prepare for robo-advice launches

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Four major banks are developing robo-advice services aimed at mass market customers, with the first launch expected in the next two months.

The Financial Times reports Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Banking Group and Santander are all eyeing robo-advice launches.

The banks are said to be waiting on the outcome of the Financial Advice Market Review before rolling out the new services. Chancellor George Osborne is expected to set out proposals to tackle the advice gap and deliver more affordable advice solutions as part of the Budget on 16 March.

One banking source told the newspaper it was “ridiculous” banks cannot help their retail customers on investment products.

They said: “For people with £5,000 or £10,000, there is almost no help out there.”

Earlier this month it emerged Santander was returning to investment advice less than two years after its £12.4m FCA fine for poor advice.

The FT reports HSBC is also looking to set up an investment advice arm which would include customers with less than £50,000 to invest.