Robo-advice won't replace planners: NAB

Robo-advice won't replace planners: NAB

Two months after the launch of robo-advice platform NAB Prosper, NAB has moved to reassure its financial planners that they will not be replaced by algorithms.


NAB rolled out its digital advice platform NAB Prosper to online banking customers on 9 September 2015 in an effort to "empower the 80 per cent of Australians who do not have an active relationship with a financial adviser".

NAB Financial Planning general manager Paul Fog told InvestorDaily the bank has been using a system dubbed Customer Labs to workshop NAB Prosper with customers and continue "building out" the robo-advice solution.

"We want to build that out and enable it to be something that complements the adviser's experience and the adviser's skills," Mr Fog said.

"We know that there’s at least 80 per cent of Australians who aren’t having a relationship with a planner at present.

"And if we’re able to educate and them and give them the ability to do some self planning that can quite often result in a meeting with a planner to go in deeper and to get more tailored and specific advice on more complex issues," Mr Fog said.

But robo-advice solutions will "never replace advisers", he explained, adding that futurists acknowledge that robo-advice would never have the same "emotive connection people have with money and wealth". 

However, it is difficult to know where algorithmic-based modelling will take the profession, he said – noting that automated systems are being used to make decisions in the legal and accounting sectors.

"We know through behavioural economics and behavioural finance that is very important."

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