‘Bionic Advice’ is a concept devised by LEBC chief executive Jack McVitie, and refers to a hybrid app-human financial advice service.
His aim is to provide a more affordable advice service to consumers by combining access to human advisers with technology to keep costs down.
The service is built on Hummingbird, an app which allows consumers to access information on their spending, savings and investments in one place, using open banking technology.
The service is being developed in conjunction with Moneyhub.
The app will enable users to see the balance of their bank accounts and credit cards and information on their savings and investments, including pensions and ISAs.
Hummingbird will then allow users to organise their spending into categories and give them the ability to set goals and budgets.
The app gives users access to LEBC’s Bionic Advice zone, where initially, the company says, consumers will be able to access wills, mortgages and life insurance services through partner firms.
It also provides a ‘feed’ link with an LEBC adviser on a wide range of financial topics, including tax-efficient investments, planning for retirement, inheritance and intergenerational wealth, later life planning and education funding – offering regulated advice as required.
Jeremy MacLeod, managing director, LEBC Hummingbird, who has led the development of the new service said: “Our app and Bionic Advice offering are designed to make it easy for consumers to manage their money, access the basics of financial well-being and set the foundations for a financially healthier 2020.”
LEBC has decided at this stage that Hummingbird will not allow transactions to be made to avoid the risk of scammers cheating the service.
Users will have the option to grant access to their app to others, for a limited period or permanently, for example an attorney or a relative helping to look after someone else’s finances.
LEBC believes Hummingbird will help to reduce the cost of financial advice where the user allows their adviser to access their data.
The app costs just 99p a month or £9.99 a year on Android, or for Apple/iOS users £1.49 a month or £14.99 per annum. It is free to LEBC clients subscribing to the firm’s annual review service.