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Robo-advisory support for banks in the works in Singapore

Monday, March 28, 2016 - 11:57

SINGAPORE may soon see robo-advisory services that are likely to support existing financial advisers, a senior executive at Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said on Monday.

There are robo-advisers now in their early set-up stages in Singapore, said Sopnendu Mohanty, chief fintech officer of MAS. But commenting broadly on the development of robo-advisory in the wealth management industry, he said this will come as a support for existing advisory services at this point.

"What we see now is a hybrid opportunity, where financial advisers can tap into this technology to do a far better job and be more efficient in their advisory," he said at a media briefing.

"Somebody made a comment that robo-advisers are robos for the advisers."

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But he said the regulator is open to robo-advisers that are standalone self-service outfits.

"We have never said no to possibilities. When technology becomes more reliable, it can take a shape of completely self-service advisory," he said.

"I've been very categorical on this. We don't see any regulatory barrier to this process. That's a space that will grow."

MAS and the Association of Banks in Singapore will hold a two-day conference from Tuesday that focuses on the development of application programming interfaces (API). These are sets of requirements that determine how one application can communicate with another.

"In today's fast changing world of technology, consumers expect our financial institutions to keep up with customer lifestyles and meet business demands," he said.

"It is timely for the push towards customer-focused initiatives which allow systems to be developed in a quicker and more efficient manner, especially in the area of application development."

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