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September 26, 2019updated 30 Sep 2019 4:05pm

Swiss bank to close robo advice service following “low demand”

By Oliver Williams

Glarner Kantonalbank, a Swiss bank, will close its robo advice service, investomat.ch, at the end of November, citing a “low demand from investment clients”.

The robo advisory service was launched in 2015, making it one of the first in the Swiss banking sector. However, in a statement on Thursday, Glarner Kantonalbank said that robo advisors in Switzerland had not been able to gain sufficient market share.

According to a survey by GlobalData, the type of asset management in the average HNW portfolio given over to a robo advisor is 17.7% in Switzerland. That is higher than the global average of 10.9%.

However, Glarner Kantonalbank said that a “turnaround in this regard is not expected in the foreseeable future”. The bank operates from its headquarters in the Swiss canton of Glarus, with no international presence.

The move by Glarner Kantonalbank follows a string of closers of banks’ robo advice services. Earlier this year, Investec closed its “Click & Invest” platform, after it recorded an operating loss of £12.8 million in 2018. In August last year, UBS closed its SmartWealth platform, which was rolled out in the UK in 2017.

However, Glarner Kantonalbank noted that so-called hybrid investment solutions, which typically combine technology with personal advice, “are very well received by investment clients”. It aims to expand a hybrid investment solution that it launched last year but “with profitable elements”.

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