The Norwegian bank Sbanken, has on the 21th of June become the first in the world to achieve authorization for it’s robo-advisor. With this, the Norwegian financial industry has become the first in the world with authorized financial robo-advisor.
A coordinated Norwegian financial industry, facilitated by Finance Norway and the Norwegian Fund and Asset Management Association, decided to establish an authorization scheme for robo-advisors in March 2019. Sbanken was one of six pilot companies that through 2020 tested the application process and requirements for the authorization. The authorization scheme was officially opened in January 2021.
After an extensive application process, it was Sbankens’s saving robot that passed the exam first. This to great cheers both internally in Sbanken and the Norwegian financial industry in general:
- It was fantastic news when we got the authorization. We celebrate that we have reached this milestone and also that our robo-advisor is the first in the world to be authorized. This is a clear confirmation of Finance Norway’s mission and accomplishments and Sbanken gets to show the delivery capability of the organization. We will now continue to work with the goal of continuously improving the solution. The possibilities within robot advice are almost limitless, says Magnus Selven, Head of Investment Advice at Sbanken.
Same quality standards in all channels
FinAut is concerned with equally good consumer protection regardless of whether the advisor is a person or a robot. Through FinAut, the Norwegian financial industry has authorized financial advisors for over 10 years, and now the first robot advisor within savings and investments from Sbanken, is authorized. Several other robo-advisors are in process of being authorized. First out, however, was the Sbanken, which is not surprising:
- Sbanken is known for delivering new and digital solutions that benefit consumers. That they now, as the first in the world, passed the exam, did not surprise me. This is a big step towards the future and an exciting milestone for the Norwegian financial industry, says Siv Seglem, CEO of Finaut.
High level of trust and consumer-friendly digital solutions in Norway
The Norwegian financial industry is at the forefront of delivering digital solutions that are simple and safe for consumers to use. Norwegian consumers are far ahead in using digital solutions that the financial industry offers. Norway is a country with a high level of trust capital, within the society in general, towards the authorities, and also towards the financial industry.
- It is a seal of quality and reassuring for consumers to know that robo-advisors not only comply with strict regulations, but also include extended good practice and ethics in the advice process. We see the authorization as very important to help create consumer confidence in new technology and that robo-advisors more efficiently can make saving and investment smarter, better, and more customer friendly for thousands of Norwegian consumers, says Selven in Sbanken.
Satisfied customers, satisfied industry
This year's survey of "Consumer and financial trends" shows that more than 90% of those who have bought financial products in the past year and received advice, are satisfied with the overall advice. The use of digital solutions has increased, but most purchases are still made in dialogue with an employee or advisor. When advice is offered by digital channels, or robot advisors, the requirements for quality and authorization must be compliant to the same standards.
- And for those who still want to talk to a person instead - or in addition to a robo-advisor, we have 12,500 authorized advisors across the country who provide free advice, says Siv Seglem, CEO of Finaut.
Look for the authorization marks and search for authorized advisors at www.finaut.no
Siv Seglem, CEO FinAut
Mobile: 913 51 081
Gry Nergård, Head of the FinAut Board of Directors and Director of Consumer Politics in Finans Norge
Mobile: 990 05 080
Facts about FinAut
FinAut was initially established as a authorization scheme for financial advisors
January 1, 2009
|The authorization scheme for robo-advisors||Established January 2021|
|Owners of FinAut||Finans Norge and Verdipapirfondenes forening (VFF)|
|FinAut manages 7 authorization schemes||
Authorization schemes within:
|Member companies (banks, insurance companies, funds, advisory providers)||
Approx. 150Overview of member companies is available at www.finaut.no
|Number of authorized advisors (of which the majority is authorized within two or more schemes)||12.550|
|Core of the authorization||Prove competence within relevant subjects and regulations, as well as communication and ethics skills through three authorization exams. Requirements for regularly updating competence and compliance with the industry standard for Ethics and Good practice.|
Facts about the robo-advisor authorization scheme
|Why?||Consumers should be confident in the quality of the advice and that the advice follows professional requirements, ethics, and regulations. We want to increase the confidence in robot advisors, improve the offer, and make advice available to more consumers.|
|How does the customer know if a robo-advisor is authorized?||
There is a register of authorized robo-advisors on the front page: www.finaut.no
Also look for this brand:
|Where do we find the robo-advisors?||They can be found on the finance company’s website or app. The solutions launched so far are diverse.|
|How does the "conversation" take place with a robo-advisor?||In current solutions, most are based on the customer having to answer by typing or ticking for alternatives.|
|What should be authorized?||
Advice, as in personal recommendations, to consumers within saving, investment, loan and insurance.Chat bots that provide information only should not be authorized.
|Who is behind it?||A coordinated Norwegian financial industry represented by Finance Norway and the Norwegian Fund and Asset Management Association. The authorization scheme is managed by FinAut - the Norwegian financial industry's authorization schemes.|
|How is the authorization done?||
There are four requirements for authorization:
1) The company must be a member of FinAut (pre-qualification that the company is serious and trustworthy and has the right permits and licenses)
2) The robo-advisor must follow the Code of Good Practice and requirements are set for the content. This must be documented through comprehensive checklists confirmed by the company and an external auditor.
3) Requirements are set for the approval process and that those involved in the robo-advisor itself are authorized.4) There are requirements for follow-up after authorization and for re-authorization in the event of significant changes. It must be regularly tested that the advice given by the robo-advisor is compliant.
|What is Good Practice?||
Good Practice is an industry standard that provides guidelines for how a customer meeting should be conducted and what it should contain to meet the requirements set for subjects, regulations, ethics and communication.
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