RBS to launch robo-advice proposition

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is preparing to launch a robo-advice service for more than five million customers.

The automated online service will be made available via its Natwest brand on Monday, according to a report by the Financial Times.

The government-owned bank claims it is the first in the UK to offer this type of service to clients. However competing banks, including HSBC and Barclays, have already announced robo-advice propositions of their own throughout the year.

The service is reportedly designed for the majority of Natwest’s customers, people with as little as £500 to invest as a lump sum, and will cost £10 plus fees for the investment.

On average, the total cost of the advice process, fund investment and platform fee will come out to 0.95%.

Customers will be able to choose from the same selection of risk-rated funds currently available through Natwest’s “execution-only” service, which primarily invest in low cost trackers or exchange traded funds.

RBS’ push into the robo-advice space comes at a time when the FTSE 100 bank is in a much healthier financial position and has dealt with most of its global financial crisis-related fines, though a sizeable fine from the US Department of Justice still looms.

Prospective customers will be given guidance on whether to invest and which funds to select after describing their circumstances, goals and attitude to risk.

Natwest was adamant the process will not be a glorified questionnaire, but provide detailed investment plans for customers.

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