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Barclays joins the robo advice fray with Plan & Invest

 

Banking behemoth Barclays plans to help to close the much talked about ‘advice gap’ with the launch of a robo advice service for its current account customers with a minimum of £5,000 to invest.

 

Its Plan & Invest service offers active and passive funds through a managed portfolio delivered in association with technology provider Scalable Capital; the service will charge an ongoing annual fee of between 1.39% and 1.59% and Barclays has said it will not charge customers until money has been invested into their account.

Plan & Invest promises to create and manage a ‘personalised investment plan’ for customers, and Barclays has promised to contact clients at least once a year to confirm ongoing suitability and that customers are making the most of their tax allowances

Over the last few months, we’ve seen a rise in the number of people wanting to invest for the first time

The advice service will initially be piloted to Barclays’ current account customers with a minimum of £5,000 to invest; service costs are fixed at 0.95% + VAT, with product costs between 0.25% and 0.45%.

In announcing the service, Dirk Klee, chief executive of wealth management and investments at Barclays, said: ‘Over the last few months, we’ve seen a rise in the number of people wanting to invest for the first time and it feels more important than ever that we give people the right tools and advice to plan for their financial future.’

He said Barclays launched the service in response to customer demand for the ‘convenience and affordability’ of robo-advice with the ‘personalisation of wealth management’, adding: ‘I firmly believe that everyone should have access to affordable advice and Plan & Invest is just the first step in our plans to open up the tools we use with our wealth clients to more people.

Barclays’ previous foray into the space was in 2017 when it launched a direct-to-consumer investment service to rival robo advice.

The Ready Made Investments service offered by Smart Investor allowed novice customers to build a portfolio by investing in a single risk-adjusted portfolio – Defensive, Cautious, Balanced, Growth or Adventurous.

Plan & Invest can be accessed by customers through online banking, accompanied by phone support, but Barclays said it had plans to launch the service on its app later this summer.

 

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