OCBC launches robo-investment service

The launch of OCBC RoboInvest follows a pilot run with selected accredited investors last year.
The launch of OCBC RoboInvest follows a pilot run with selected accredited investors last year. PHOTO: ST FILE

OCBC Bank has launched a robo-investment service using technology developed by Singapore-based fintech start-up WeInvest.

The launch of OCBC RoboInvest follows a pilot run with selected accredited investors last year.

Investors using the service must make a minimum initial investment of $3,500, and a 1.5 per cent annual fee will be charged for assets under management of up to $50,000. Amounts above $50,000 will attract an annual fee of 1 per cent.

Other exchange fees and charges apply which vary depending on the markets and trading channels used to execute the orders.

Investors can choose from 28 investment portfolios of equities and exchange-traded funds across six markets - Singapore, Australia, Britain, the United States, Europe and Hong Kong.

The portfolios are constructed based on different themes to suit investment preferences and risk profiles. For example, the lowest-risk option is a "defensive" portfolio targeted at investors who primarily seek current income so 75 per cent of the portfolio is allocated to bonds.

The menu of options is richer on the higher end of the risk spectrum, where strategies on offer range from "Hong Kong property" to "Mainland European technology".

Customers will have access to a dashboard to see how their investments are performing and can easily withdraw or add on to them at any point, OCBC said.

Algorithms are used to monitor each portfolio and rebalance assets on a quarterly or half-yearly basis depending on each portfolio.

Customers will get e-mail alerts to approve the rebalancing, which means they do not need to constantly monitor their investments, the bank said. OCBC RoboInvest will only proceed with the rebalancing once a customer has given his consent within two weeks from the date of trigger.

There is no shortage of low-cost robo-advisers in Singapore. For instance, StashAway has no minimum investment limit and charges an annual management fee of 0.2 to 0.8 per cent. Traditional fund managers would charge 1.25 per cent and above.

At Smartly, the minimum investment sum is $50 with management fees ranging from 0.5 to 1 per cent. AutoWealth requires a minimum investment of $3,000, and charges an advisory fee of 0.5 per cent a year plus a US$18 (S$25) platform fee.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 24, 2018, with the headline 'OCBC launches robo-investment service'. Print Edition | Subscribe