Barclays has launched a new digital advice service to tackle the UK’s advice gap and give more people the confidence and support to invest their savings. The new service, called Barclays Plan & Invest, will create a personalised investment plan that’s tailored to a customer’s goals, with Barclays then managing the investments on their behalf – traditionally known as discretionary portfolio management.
Barclays has partnered with Scalable Capital to launch the new service, which will give customers access to the bank’s pick of both active and passive funds through a managed portfolio. Their investments will be chosen and managed by the bank’s dedicated team of investment experts, previously only accessible to clients with considerable sums to invest.
Brits feel unsupported
The launch coincides with new research from YouGov revealing that over half of Brits (56 per cent) feel that they don’t currently have access to the expert support they would need to start investing, with 71 per cent believing that they don’t have the skills or expertise to invest on their own.
Dirk Klee, CEO of Wealth Management and Investments at Barclays, said: “Over the last few months, we’ve seen a rise in the number of people wanting to invest for the first time and it feels more important than ever that we give people the right tools and advice to plan for their financial future.
“I firmly believe that everyone should have access to affordable advice and Plan & Invest is just the first step in our plans to open up the tools we use with our Wealth clients to more people.”
An adaptive investment
Unlike many robo-advice providers, Barclays will adapt the investment plan to any changes in the market or the customer’s circumstances and check-in with them at least once a year. If anything needs to change, for example if they would benefit from moving their investments into an ISA account, Barclays will take care of it.
The new service will initially be piloted with Barclays current account customers who have at least £5,000 to invest and will be accessed through Online Banking, with dedicated support over the phone. The bank will continue to develop the service over the coming months, with plans to launch on the Barclays app later this summer.
We are excited to have partnered with Barclays on their launch of Plan & Invest,” said Adam French, Co-founder and Director of Scalable Capital. “We have been working together for the last two years to help them launch an advice service which is accessible, affordable and easy to use. Through the partnership, we have been able to build a high-quality service to satisfy numerous client needs and we’ve been able to deliver it to their clients in a short period of time.”
How does Plan & Invest work?
- First, customers will answer a series of questions online – covering their goals, finances, ISA allowances and how they respond to risk.
- We’ll use this information to work out if investing is right for the customer and how much they can afford to contribute towards their goal, both initially and on an ongoing basis.
- We’ll then create their personalised investment plan, combining a mix of investments that have been chosen by our dedicated team of experts.
- The plan will show customers how we intend to invest their money, and how this will change over time/as they get closer to their goal. It will also show them how achievable their goal is and make sure that, where possible, they’re investing in a tax-efficient way by using an ISA.
- Once they’ve decided to go ahead with the plan, our team of experts will manage the customer’s investments for them – monitoring their performance, making “buy and sell” decisions on their behalf and spotting good market opportunities.
- We’ll keep customers updated on how everything’s going, with dedicated support over the phone and an online hub where they can see how well their investments are tracking against their goal and make any changes.
- We’ll also organise an annual review of their investment plan, to make sure they are making the most of their personal ISA allowances and check if there are any changes to their goals or life circumstances.
It’s free for customers to create their initial personalised investment plan and they will only be charged once their accounts are set-up and their money has been invested. Once a portfolio is set-up, Barclays will charge an ongoing annual fee of between 1.39 per cent and 1.59 per cent, which is charged based on the value of their investments and split into two types of costs – service costs and product costs.
The service cost is fixed at 0.95 per cent (+ VAT) and covers planning, investing and safekeeping costs. The product costs cover ongoing fund management fees and transaction fees and will range between 0.25 and 0.45 per cent, depending on which funds are chosen for a customer’s personalised investment plan.