Can human-based advice compete with robo-advice? The age of robo-advice is dawning. Mimic them, differentiate from them or join them!

Retail Financial Services

Retail Financial Services




Moderator: John Chapman – John Chapman Consultancy
Expert: Adam French, Scalable Capital & James Alexander, KPMG 


Key Findings: 

For the moment we think robo-advice is a misnomer as the current services offer limited robo and limited advice, if there’s any advice at all.

  • Distribution is seen as a key challenge for robo-advice businesses. We have seen Nutmeg struggle to achieve the necessary scale despite high marketing spend and we don’t see any of the more recent entrants achieving any major breakthrough. 
  • Without significant distribution, it is difficult to see robo-advice businesses reaching the scale needed to justify the high levels of investment needed to develop the business and technology. 
  • Banks would seem a natural space for the development of a successful robo-advice solution, they have huge customer base, detailed knowledge on their customers and the balance sheet to invest in these solutions. However, management of risk is a key factor for banks and they would have to be convinced of being able to limit risk before entering the market.
  • Robo-advice solutions can support human-based advice and this is the area we thought that businesses should focus on with the resulting improved productivity and profitability.