HSBC is preparing to launch an investment advice arm later this year for those with less than £50,000 to invest.
It comes as Santander announced its return to the investment advice market earlier this month, and as raft of of banks are said to be eyeing the development of robo-advice services.
An HSBC spokeswoman says: “Whilst we are not trialling robo-advice at the moment we are testing a simplified standalone investment service which will meet the needs of a broader range of customers. We will review this in the coming months.”
Santander also says it is committed to launching a robo-advice service by the end of 2016. This is alongside plans to launch a direct-to-consumer platform by the end of March, which will be powered by FNZ.
Money Marketing recently reported Barclays Wealth will launch an “affluent platform” this year for passive clients with simple investment needs starting at £50,000.
Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland are also reportedly launching a robo-advice service this year.
Threesixty managing director Phil Young says: “My bet on bank advice is a tightly controlled ‘robo’ at the heart and advisers concentrating on client acquisition and generic planning, but shying away from investment advice.
“That takes a lot of the advisory risk away from advisers and lumps much of it in the algorithm.”