This week: UBS and Merrill Edge both launch their own robo-advisor, compliance offices warm up to automation, and Google’s huge fintech opportunity.
Unlike the Chinese tech giants, Google, Facebook and Amazon have been hesitant to enter financial services. But Google has a unique comparative advantage if it does. Google can see real-time search trends, giving it an informational advantage over traditional managers. The company is also collecting a database of high quality satellite imaging. This would allow them to track everything from business supply chain operations to the number of cars in a store’s parking lot.
UBS to launch UK ‘robo-advice’ service (Financial Times)
UBS is joining other incumbent banks by building their own robo-advisor to compete with startups. They will offer the service to accounts over £15,000 and charge 1% in fees for passive investing, and 1.8% for active investing. This move comes at a time when wealth managers are grappling with the decline of human advisors, the traditional mutual-fund sales channel.
‘A Robot Could Alleviate This Drudgery’: Bank Compliance Meets AI (American Banker)
One of AI’s most promising use cases is compliance, where parsing through thousands of pages of laws and regulations is expensive and time-consuming for banks. Other easily-automated tasks include catching money launderers and detecting rogue employee behaviors.