ZURICH Oct 10 UBS said on Monday it
was launching a new digital platform to provide online advice
for wealth management clients in Britain.
The Swiss bank will introduce the SmartWealth product next
month, with a full roll-out planned for 2017. The platform,
which provides regulated and real-time advice online, is aimed
at customers with a minimum of 15,000 pounds ($19,000) to
"UBS SmartWealth is a strategically important move for UBS,"
said Dirk Klee, chief operating officer of UBS Wealth
Management. "It enables us to bring our advice and expertise to
a much wider audience, at first in the UK, but in time to other
The launch marks a major step by UBS, the world's biggest
private bank, into digital wealth management.
Sometimes called "robo advisers", online services such as
Wealthfront in the United Sates ask customers questions about
who they are and what they are saving for, just like
conventional advisers, but then use an algorithm to devise an
It is in stark contrast to traditional private banking for
millionaires and billionaires, which has often relied on a
personal relationship between a client and their banker.
A digital platform could give UBS the scale to bank for the
so-called mass affluent - clients with tens of thousands in
assets - who are typically higher margin than ultra-high and
high-net worth individuals.
UBS Wealth Management President Juerg Zeltner told Reuters
in June that UBS was working on a new digital platform which it
hoped to launch later this year or at the start of 2017.
($1 = 0.8042 pounds)
(Reporting by John Revill, additional reporting by Joshua
Franklin; Editing by Susan Fenton)