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Robo firms “no threat to advisers”

Many UK financial advisers do not see the advance of online robo-advisers as a threat to their business model when offering retirement solutions, a survey indicates.

Metlife, a financial services firm, found that the vast majority of advisers (71%) that it surveyed were not worried that new technology-based advice will be a threat to their business – though about a quarter (22%) did think robo-advice will negatively impact them.

Demand for face-to-face advice is strong, with 36% of respondents to the Metlife survey who were drawn from the public saying they would look for independent financial advice when planning their income in retirement.

This number rises to 44% among savers under the age of 34. However, the caveat is that in this age range, 77% would use an adviser only if they could see the value in terms of their retirement income.

Robo-advisers came under attack on Monday, when Gina Miller, a vocal fund management critic and co-founder of fund provider SCM Direct, claimed robo-advisers were losing money.

Yet Simon Massey, wealth management director at MetLife, said that robo-advice and digital technology have a major role to play in ensuring savers have get a choice in how they are advised.

He added: “The value of face-to-face independent financial advice is clear and demonstrated by the potential demand from savers.”

Metlife surveyed 104 retirement and investment specialist advisers in March as well as 1,075 employed adults at the same time.

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