Robo-advisers ignoring ‘central issue’, says software provider

The rush to produce the “smartest robo system” has seen some companies ignore a central issue, which is what is best for consumers, argues Adviser Intelligence founder and chief executive, Jacqui Henderson.

In a blog post this week, the software provider boss said the robo-advice movement has driven a fair amount of “unchecked hype” and fear in the financial services industry. 

This hype, however, has led to technology companies overlooking consumers’ best interests, according to Ms Henderson.

“Stand back from the hype surrounding so-called robo-advice technology and what you’ll see is a fintech industry debate, pumped up mostly by product vendors, largely ignoring the central issue of what is best for the consumer,” Ms Henderson said.

“The rush to produce the smartest robo system is to me akin to a bunch of software code developers imposing their creations on the financial adviser and clients, not necessarily beginning with consumers’ best interests and holistic objectives in mind.”

Ms Henderson said the conversation needs to shift to focus on what is important for consumers.

“That is why I think the discussion has to shift. To me, the bigger picture is that of 'digital advice automation' aimed at empowering more quality financial advice,” she said.

“More quality advice equals better outcomes for consumers with greater financial literacy levels, better tools and improved quality of life goals and lifestyle benefits.”

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