Price more important than brand for robo customers

Prince and ease of use are more important than brand for UK investors choosing a robo-adviser, a global survey of attitudes to digital advice has found.

Legg Mason’s 2017 Global Investment Survey found just 4 per cent of UK investors say brand would play the most important role in their selection of a robo-adviser, compared to 22 per cent who cite price and fees as the most important consideration, and 17 per cent saying ease of use is their primary concern.

Third on the priority list was ‘fee transparency / simplicity’ – the key consideration for 8 per cent of respondents – followed by the range of investment products available, cited by 6 per cent.

Links to financial advice firms were important for 5 per cent, while 3 per cent cited the range of asset classes available. Just 2 per cent cited the size of the assets already managed by the firm as important.

The research covered 15,300 respondents from 17 markets around the globe, with 900 respondents from the UK.

Legg Mason head of Europe and Americas distribution Justin Eede says: “Robo-advice is becoming an increasingly prominent feature of the UK investment landscape with growing numbers of providers competing for a foothold in this fast-developing market.

“Perhaps it is intuitive that investors selecting online investment services are prioritising price and ease of use above all else, but it is interesting to note how little weight they are giving to brand. We will see how the market in the UK develops but the findings suggest that, right now, investors simply want online services that are low-cost, easy to use and transparent.”