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HNWIs see benefits of digital tech but cybersecurity concerns persist, says new poll


The latest Morgan Stanley Investor Pulse Poll reveals that high net worth (HNW) investors are increasingly attracted to digital technology while at the same time harbouring concerns 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,” says 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.”

While HNW investors expect their investment firm to provide online access to account information (82 per cent) and convenient and secure online account management (78 per cent), some investors expressed concern about mobile banking cybersecurity, with 43 per cent 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 US households with at least USD100,000 in investible assets, in late December 2018 and early January 2019. A third of respondents had investible assets of USD1 million or more.

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