OCBC Bank launches robo-investment service

Maria Nikolova

Customers can choose from 28 diverse portfolios of equities and exchange traded funds across six markets.

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. Limited (SGX:O39), or OCBC, has joined the growing trend of financial services companies launching robo-advisors.

OCBC Bank has announced the launch of OCBC RoboInvest. Targeting young and tech-savvy investors, the robo-advisory service requires an initial investment amount of just SGD3,500. Customers can choose from 28 diverse portfolios of equities and exchange traded funds across six markets, constructed based on themes like technology, real estate investment trusts, fast-moving-consumer-goods companies, property, healthcare and food & beverage.

OCBC RoboInvest uses algorithms to monitor each portfolio automatically and periodically re-balance assets if there are economic and market movements that impact the portfolio. It then alerts customers via emails so they can approve the re-balancing. This means customers do not need to constantly monitor their investments and helps optimise their portfolios.

The launch follows a successful pilot run from March to December 2017 which confirmed OCBC Bank’s hypothesis that investors between the ages of 25 to 40 years old have no reservations embracing “self-service” investing as long as the investment portfolios are in line with their investment preferences and match their risk profiles.

OCBC RoboInvest has been developed together with a Singapore Fintech start-up, WeInvest. OCBC Bank’s partnership with WeInvest was forged through its Fintech and Innovation unit, The Open Vault at OCBC.

This is yet another step by the bank in the area of digitalization. In July this year, for instance, OCBC Bank unveiled its plans to convert bank tellers into digital ambassadors and service executives. OCBC Bank expects to see half of its bank tellers upskilled to perform higher value-added financial services as it installs the latest ATMs and digital service kiosks at 35 of its branches by 2020.

In another example of the passion of OCBC for new technologies, in April, the bank announced the launch of AI-powered voice banking in partnership with Google.

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