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Most banks looking to robo-advice as ATO warnings released


As the tax office cautions accountants on the compliance requisites of engaging with robo-advisers, new research has found over half of Australian banks are planning to up their investment in robo-advice in the next three years.

By Reporter 11 minute read

Infosys’ Digital Outlook Banking Industry report found 57 per cent of the 113 senior bank staff surveyed plan to invest money into robo-advice services.

Further, the survey found 29 per cent of the participating banks are already investing into robo-advice, with the remaining 14 per cent saying they were investigating the trend.

None of the participating bank staff said they would not be investing in, or investigating, robo-advice services.


Despite this, the report also found only 19 per cent of respondents believed robo-advice would have the most positive impact on their business in the next three years, placing it 13th out of the 16 trends covered in the report.

Infosys’ research found the most commonly listed trend to have a positive impact over the next three years was use of data analytics to deepen product personalisation, followed by open banking, and paperless trading.

This news follows a statement from the ATO  late last week, suggesting claims made by robo-advisers to accountants might be misleading.

In a website update, the tax office said that accountants who don’t operate under an Australian financial service licence (AFSL) are limited in how they can refer a client to an automated advice provider.

“Some robo-advice services may suggest that unlicensed accountants who refer clients to a robo-adviser won’t be providing a financial service; however, this may not always be correct,” the ATO warned.

"But they can’t guide you through the process or endorse any advice provided by the robo-adviser,” the ATO clarified.

The ATO has retracted its robo-advice warnings, and issued the following statement to AccountantsDaily:
Today the ATO has removed from our website information for SMSF Trustees and advisors we published last week relating to robo-advice. The article contained some inaccurate and unclear information. We regret any uncertainty the article may have raised. The ATO will publish links on our website to the official information and guidance about this topic published by ASIC, the primary regulator on the provision of financial advice, including robo-advice.

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