U.S. Bancorp Planning Robo-Adviser Launch This Year

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SNL Extra

March 15, 2017

Speaking at a conference March 8, executives at U.S. Bancorp said this year the bank will use financial technology in its wealth management business.

U.S. Bancorp executives said March 8 that the bank expects to release its robo-adviser product this year as the company continues to fine-tune its wealth management business.

Speaking at RBC Capital Markets' Financial Institutions Conference in New York City, executives said financial technology has become a focus for the bank. Last year, the company looked at roughly 300 different potential ways to use fintech in payments and other areas of the business, executives said at the conference. One of the more immediate uses appears to be in the bank's wealth management business.

"We'll be in the market this year with I hate the word robo but with our robo-adviser," said Mark Jordahl, president of wealth management for U.S. Bancorp. "I think that's a big opportunity."

Jordahl was quick to add that the bank will not solely rely on technology for its customers to use as they see fit. "We'll be crafting pretty carefully this combination of people with technology, allowing clients to do more themselves if they choose, which they are choosing, and allowing our advisers to be more and more productive in discerning what the client base is looking for."

During the bank's presentation, an audience member asked about the Department of Labor's fiduciary standard rule, a regulation developed under former President Barack Obama, but one that has been delayed by President Donald Trump's administration. Gunjan Kedia, vice chairman of wealth management and securities services for the bank, said the company considers the rule best practices and has already completed "most of the hard work." She said the bank will push ahead with compliance regardless of the rule's status in limbo.

When asked about acquisition in the wealth management space, the executives called acquisitions shortcuts to growth and that the bank prefers to grow organically. Kedia said the bank will continue to invest in basic customer relationship management software so the company can stay well-attuned to client needs.

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