UBS targets less rich Brits with robo-advisor platform

UBS targets less rich Brits with robo-advisor platform

UBS is hoping to bring its wealth management services to a wider audience through the launch of a digital robo-advisory platform available to UK customers with as little as £15,000 to invest.

The UBS SmartWealth platform will be offered to some UK customers in November before a country-wide rollout in 2017, with other markets expected to follow.

A year in the making, the system uses proprietary technology to provides regulated and real-time advice online. It recommends a suitable investment strategy based on a client’s individual financial situation relative to their attitude to risk and an understanding of their life stage, assets and goals.

Performance is regularly checked to provide clients with ongoing updates against their goals and advice on possible actions, while portfolios are also adjusted on an ongoing basis, relative to the views of UBS’s worldwide research and investment experts.

The bank says that SmartWealth enables to bring its wealth management service to a "new group of clients", requiring a minimum investment of just £15,000.

Like other banks, UBS is keen to take advantage of technological advances to win over a whole new market to its wealth management service. Earlier this year the Swiss giant joined a $40 million funding round for San Francisco-based robo-advisor SigFig. In addition to the money, the pair promised a joint advisor technology research and innovation lab, where UBS financial advisors, product experts and technologists can work with SigFig’s digital experts.

Dirk Klee, COO, UBS Wealth Management, says: "UBS SmartWealth is a strategically important move for UBS. It enables us to bring our advice and expertise to a much wider audience, at first in the UK, but in time in other geographies too.

"Technology is changing the way financial services are delivered. The launch of UBS SmartWealth shows that digital innovation is not the sole reserve of start-ups. Large market-leading institutions have the resources to research, test and build transformative new products and services."

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