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Fifth Third Bank launches digital advice platform

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Fifth Third Bank has launched an automated investment advice platform that aims to scoop up mass-market clients with just $5,000 in investable assets.

The new OptiFi platform is suited for investors across all life stages, whether they’re saving for a large expense such as purchasing a new home or planning for retirement, said Howard Hammond, senior vice president and managing director of Fifth Third Securities, the retail brokerage arm of the Cincinnati-based bank.
The platform offers 14 investment portfolios and charges an annual advisory fee of 50 basis points, “a fraction of the cost of traditional investment management fees,” the bank said in its announcement.

The bank touts the convenience of opening an account, saying the automated investment process begins once clients specify their investment goals and complete a short questionnaire.

“The intuitive platform guides the client through the process and allocates assets based on the client’s goals,” Hammond said.

Investors can open an account with a minimum of $5,000.

The platform provides automatic portfolio rebalancing and reallocation and is supported by a team that is available via phone or email. The support team helps investors with any questions they may have about the platform, Hammond said.

The platform uses Fidelity digital advice technology co-developed with eMoney Advisor and can be monitored via Fifth Third’s mobile app.

Fifth Third, of course, is not alone. It joins many other banks that have unveiled robo platforms over the past year in a bid to attract and retain millennials and other tech-savvy customers interested in investing on their own. Webster Bank, for example, rolled out a digital advice platform in February with the support of its broker-dealer LPL. Wells Fargo and Citizens Bank launched digital advice offerings in the fall of 2017.

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