Barclays launches new digital advice service Plan & Invest

Maria Nikolova

The service will initially be available to Barclays current account customers who have a minimum of £5,000 to invest.

Barclays today announces the launch of 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.

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, to make sure that the investments are still right for the customer and that they’re making the most of their tax allowances.

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.

To make use of the new service, customers will need to complete an in-depth questionnaire on their circumstances and what they want to achieve by when, along with a personality assessment on how they respond to risk. Barclays will then use the latest technology to combine this information with their expert team’s pick of investments, to create a personalised plan that can follow over 10,000 investment paths.

Barclays will also organise an annual review of their customers’ investment plans, 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 is 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% and 1.59%, 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% (+ 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%, depending on which funds are chosen for a customer’s personalised investment plan.

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