Counter-intuitive? Most of our day-to-day, online experience of AI is of those ‘chatbots’, which spring up when you’re trying to query a bill and ask how they can help you. You then have to beat them into submission to allow you to speak to a real person, usually in an exotic location. The idea here is to enable we advisers to deal with ‘smaller clients’, now deemed those with less than £100,000 invested, who might otherwise, with the cost of regulation blah blah, be ‘uneconomic’. Well, maybe; but a robot is a robot. Yes, they’ll get more sophisticated, but so will our ability to sniff them out. And many, if not most, will be happy to pay the extra mile to deal with a living-breathing version. I’d say. And hope.
‘Just when bankers’ reputations have started to recover’ might be something of an exaggeration. The image of fat cats and their traders earning big bonuses while crashing the economy still endures and has been given further life and legs by the NatWest chairman’s ultimate out-of-touch-with-the-real-world comments.