Mar 15, 2016

    South Korean brokerages, banks adopt robo advisers


    SOUTH Korean banks and brokerages have launched robo-advisory services to deliver consistent returns to investors at slimmer fees.

    In the past few years, robo advisers have emerged globally as an alternative to human financial advisers who are active but often make costly investment mistakes, according to industry people speaking to Yonhap news agency.

    South Korea has recently joined the growing trend to take advantage of artificial intelligence in asset management and other financial services.

    Domestic brokerages, such as NH Investment & Securities and Samsung Securities, are very aggressive in introducing investment products managed by robo advisers.

    NH Investment launched the equity-linked QV Robo Account in December. Samsung plans to offer robo services by June based on an analysis of stock markets in the past 10 years and investment results.

    "We don't think robo advisers will replace human advisers. Through robo services, we are providing diverse investment options to customers seeking higher yields amid record low interest rates," a Samsung Securities spokesman said.

    Among banks, KB Kookmin Bank in January partnered with Quarterback Investments, a local investment advisory firm, to release Quarterback R-1, which invests in global assets. In the January-February period, the product achieved an investment gain of 2 per cent.

    "Given that most equity funds are struggling with hefty losses, the product performed well.

    "Robo services-based products do not seek big gains but steady profits," a KB Kookmin spokesman said.

    Other banks, such as Woori Bank and Shinhan Bank, are set to follow suit.