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Robo-advice is not a threat, say advisers


Retirement advisers do not see the launch of online robo-advice alternatives as a threat to their face-to-face advice business model, according to research from MetLife.

Its study found 71 per cent of advisers are unconcerned that their business will suffer as technology-led and lower cost alternatives are launched with just 22 per cent believing their business will suffer.
The Financial Advice Market Review has set up an Advice Unit as part of Project Innovate and is offering regulatory feedback to firms developing low-cost technology-based services which apply by 1 July.
MetLife’s research among retirement savers shows the potential demand for face-to-face advice remains strong with 36 per cent of adults saying they will look for independent financial advice when planning retirement income. That rises to 44 per cent among savers aged under-34.
That potential demand could expand even further if advisers can demonstrate how they can help safeguard retirement income more effectively than savers can themselves.
Around two-thirds (63 per cent) of retirement savers said they would consider using a financial adviser if they are convinced that it is cost-effective in guaranteeing retirement income. Around 74 per cent of those aged 25 to 34 said they would use an adviser if they could see the value in terms of their retirement income.
Simon Massey, wealth management director at MetLife UK, says: “Robo-advice and digital technology have a major role to play in ensuring savers have as wide a choice as possible of how they get advice.
“Advisers are right to be confident that they can prosper alongside robo-advice as the value of face-to-face independent financial advice is clear and demonstrated by the potential demand from savers.
“What is even more interesting is that savers clearly want increased certainty over retirement income and that demand for advice will rise if advisers can prove how they can safeguard income in retirement. MetLife is committed to supporting advisers in expanding their businesses.”
MetLife’s range of guaranteed retirement and savings solutions has been designed to address the need for a guaranteed level of income for life in retirement and protection of capital against volatility.
Its flexible guaranteed drawdown solution – Retirement Portfolio – offers the potential for daily lock-ins of investment gains while enabling savers to start, stop and restart their income to suit their personal needs. Customers can choose from a range of investments to build a personalised retirement plan suited to the levels of risk they are willing to take while having the choice of a valuable guaranteed level of income for life or a guaranteed capital sum at retirement.  
MetLife’s guaranteed stocks and shares ISA offers a choice of income or capital guarantees with savers who invest in the Secure Income Option able to take a guaranteed level of income for life from age 55 while customers who select the Secure Capital Option have the certainty of a guaranteed amount at the end of their chosen term.

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