Strategy

UBS Wealth Management To Spend Millions On Fintech This Year, Says COO

Robbie Lawther, Reporter, 21 September 2017

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UBS WM is the latest firm to invest into financial technology to reach out to its client base.

UBS Wealth Management’s chief operating officer has said the firm will spend hundreds of millions of Swiss francs this year on digital technology and artificial intelligence, according to UAE-based The National.

Dirk Klee, COO, also told the newswire that the investment into financial technology is a bid to improve customer relations and attract new clients.

"We're using digital not just to enhance customer experience but also to streamline and improve the operational efficiency of the bank," said Geneva-based Klee. "We are still cumbersome in many processes in banking which will be replaced by smart technology and automation. So we're investing heavily into that." 

Earlier this month, as reported by this publication, Deutsche Bank’s chief executive John Cryan said humans will lose jobs to robots. This bid by UBS WM to increase technological development could be the start of the robot replacement.

According to The National, Klee said that he did not expect a huge decrease of jobs in UBS's wealth management division. He added that while a number of administrative positions would eventually go they were likely to be replaced by more wealth management officers.  

"We can see that onsite visits of clients globally are reducing because a lot of clients deal with us on the phone, online," Klee said. 

Klee added: "More and more we are going towards remote access because a lot of clients video-conference us or telephone us and that has an impact on real estate and it also means that we need fewer and fewer physical spaces and we can concentrate things more in hubs."

As time goes on it is expected that more firms like UBS WM will start to drastically invest in fintech in a bid to reach out to the next generation of wealth holders, who are looking to use technology to manage their wealth affairs.

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