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Morgan Stanley client poll finds HNW investors positive about digital but worried by security

Source: Morgan Stanley

The latest Morgan Stanley Investor Pulse Poll finds that high net worth (HNW) investors are increasingly attracted to digital technology while at the same time concerned about cybersecurity.

The poll results illustrate the communications challenge for financial institutions to convey the message that, despite the fears of cyber threats, advanced computer-based platforms can provide heightened security for financial information.

“There remains mistrust and concern regarding banking and investing online,” said Rachel Wilson, Head of Wealth Management Cybersecurity at Morgan Stanley. “However, with the proper controls in place, digital wealth management and banking can actually help reduce our clients’ risk of fraud. Clients underestimate the serious risks around physical paper. Tax returns, financial statements and personal checks can be a goldmine for fraudsters. When clients use digital offerings to access tax forms and statements, and to move money and pay bills, they can benefit from our strong authentication, encryption and fraud prevention technology.”

Morgan Stanley’s team of cybersecurity professionals work around the clock defending the Firm against cyber events, which can include a loss of critical assets, client data, or personally identifiable information, or destructive cyberattacks that attempt to make an online service or targeted system unavailable. Morgan Stanley also leverages its technology partners to create a more secure, efficient and collaborative environment for conducting business. Protecting our client’s assets and personal information is among our top concerns.

While HNW investors expect their investment firm to provide online access to account information (82%) and convenient and secure online account management (78%), some investors expressed concern about mobile banking cybersecurity, with 43% of HNW investors expressing a lack of confidence in the safety of their personal financial information online.

The Investor Pulse Poll surveyed approximately 1,100 U.S. households with at least $100,000 in investible assets, in late December 2018 and early January 2019. A third of respondents had investible assets of $1 million or more.

As the threat of cybercrime intensifies, Morgan Stanley encourages clients to know the basic steps to safeguard their data and assets. Read 16 Ways to Improve Your Cybersecurity at the following link: https://www.morganstanley.com/articles/improve-your-cybersecurity.

Key additional findings of the poll include:

• HNW Investors feel that mobile technology gives them convenience, control and better organization of their finances. In fact, 82% consider online access to account information important, if not essential.

• HNW investors express a lack of confidence in the safety of their personal financial information online. Millennial HNW investors, though, are roughly twice as likely as other HNW investors to feel very confident that their financial information is secure online and in their ability to protect this information.

Mobile tools and technology

HNW investors are taking advantage of the latest tools Morgan Stanley and other wealth management firms have developed to help them manage their investments. The survey found that large majorities of HNW investors believe mobile technology has positively impacted them personally (86%) and credit today’s mobile technology with helping them manage their money independently and conveniently (61%). Along these lines, the amount of time they spend using mobile technology over the past year has increased as well (59%).

Morgan Stanley’s asset aggregation tool, for example, gives clients the ability to view all their assets, including those held outside the Firm, in one place. This capability, along with the Firm’s Portfolio Risk Platform, makes it easier for them and their Financial Advisor to identify potential risks to their holdings. This is one of a number of investments Morgan Stanley has made in technology platforms, artificial intelligence, and new digital tools for clients to help them meet their financial goals, including online digital mortgage applications, digital vault and e-Authorization.

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