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Coutts plans simplified advice service

Coutts, the 325-year old private bank, has confirmed it is eyeing the launch of an automated advice service aimed at the pension and retirement market.

Camilla Stowell, the head of Coutts International and Coutts Private Office tells Money Marketing the Queen’s bank, which has recently launched an online investment hub for its clients, is working on a “simplified advice” tool to add to its offering.

Stowell says: “The next [step] for us will be thinking about an element of simplified advice. A broad interpretation of this could be potentially client who run their own Sipps, and are thinking about their pension contribution and how can they consider that and calculate it and get an input and then chose a strategy. It is our equivalent of robo-advice but that is something for the future.

“We are exploring that at the moment but we are really keen to focus on digital self select investing so Coutts Invest.”

Role reversal: How advisers stole a march on high-net-worth market

PwC director Ian Woodhouse says while some banks are still reluctant to enter the robo-advice sphere because of increased competition with other financial firms, bespoke services and speed will drive the “winning banks”.

He says: “Winning banks will be those that can focus on leveraging their brands, scale and untapped client base advantages by better meeting emerging clients needs, developing robust asset management and advice propositions and who can enhance their distribution and advisor skills.

“They will need to do this at pace and within the next three years to meet the speed of industry disruption as competition intensifies.”

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