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Wealthy clients seek more digital offerings, says PwC

THE majority of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) believe it is important for their financial adviser or wealth manager to have a digital offering, but wealth management is one of the least tech-literate sectors of the financial services industry.

A report by PwC finds that what is currently on offer among wealth managers in terms of digital services is sharply at odds with what their clients expect.

The report "Sink or Swim: why wealth management can't afford to miss the digital wave" is drawn from interviews with relationship managers, chief executives and fintech innovators, and a survey of about 1,000 HNWIs in Europe, North America and Asia.

A greater proportion of HNWIs in Asia (62 per cent) believe a strong digital offering by their wealth manager is important, compared to the global average of 55 per cent. This rises to 64 per cent among HNWIs under 45 and in Asia.

"Where HNWIs are digitally confident, expectations that wealth managers should be technologically proficient are higher still," said PwC.

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These expectations contrast sharply with reality: PwC finds that just a quarter of wealth managers offer digital channels beyond email.

Two-thirds (69 per cent globally and 77 per cent in the Asia-Pacific) use online or mobile banking. More than 40 per cent globally and in Asia go online to review their portfolio or investment markets. And, over one in three globally use online services for portfolio management.

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