Banking bots advise NatWest customers on investments

Automated Advice will pick ISAs based on customers' financial situations

NatWest has launched a chatbot that allows customers to seek financial advice from the comfort of their sofa.

The bot will determine the best way for customers to invest their money by asking questions such as what they want to achieve from investments, their current financial situation, what they can afford, their debts and other personal information, plus their attitude to risk

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It will then suggest ISA products they could consider for investment, plus how much they should consider investing and the most effective way to use their ISA allowance.

The advice is tailored to each person, calculated using machine learning and AI. All the advice provided is fully regulated and covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service, NatWest said, so if it turns out the advice is incorrect, they can complain.

People can invest a lump sum starting from 500, or 50 if they'd prefer a monthly saving option, and will only be charged 10 when they sign up to one of the five funding options. Each option has a different level of risk associated with it, giving the customer a full spectrum of investment choices.

"At NatWest we are very focused on meeting our customers' needs and it is clear that too many of our customers are not able to get the investment advice they need," managing director of Premier Banking, Phil Northey, said.

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"Their expectations are also changing. They are increasingly choosing to bank with us digitally. We have responded by launching an online investment advice service. This will help our customers to get on in their lives and to achieve their financial goals. We're proud to be the only UK bank offering such a service to our customers."

Because the options offered are only ISAs, customers can choose to either use their ISA allowance or transfer their current ISA allowance if it doesn't exceed the allowed amount for this tax year (20,000).

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