UBS and Julius Baer test financial advisory in the metaverse

In Brief

Swiss banks UBS and Julius Baer are currently testing metaverse features that would help to interact with clients.

The banks haven’t decided to fully launch the features due to concerns from clients.

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UBS metaverse

Investment banks UBS and Julius Baer started testing their services through the metaverse by replacing traditional boardroom meetings with headsets and virtual avatars to interact with clients.

UBS and Julius Baer are among the world’s best at offering wealth management advice. However, the inclusion of the new technology has brought some difficulties, such as motion sickness and concerns about data security, which did not convince the banks to start fully rolling out the new feature to their top clients. 

The Swiss entities are convinced the metaverse and VR technology will take over in the following years. Consequently, they began investing in innovative technology to prepare for the change. 

As the Financial Times reported, Ralph Hamers, the CEO of UBS, chose to bet on the company’s digital transformation to differentiate from rival banks while at the same time reducing costs.

“We will use digitalization and all the opportunities it brings to provide personal advice, and use digital technology to tailor that advice to client’s needs,”

Hamers told FT.

UBS started testing VR and AR functions at the beginning of the year. While the bank recreated a trading floor for its staff to work from home during the pandemic, the whole process is still an experiment.

Hamers was convinced to include AI in wealth management by a $1.4 billion takeover of the advisory business “Wealthfront” back in September, but the acquisition fell apart due to unknown reasons.

As for Julius Baer, the bank also started experimenting with VR and pledged to invest in the technology in the upcoming years. A 12-week pilot program for staff members had the mission of holding meetings in virtual offices. Also, 200 executives from Julius participated in a “metaverse experience” at a global management conference. 

In October, SEBA Bank introduced a custody service specializing in NFTs. Clients of the Swiss bank can now deposit Ethereum-based NFT collections into their bank accounts. In 2021, SEBA became the first Swiss bank to receive an institutional license for digital asset custody.

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Agne Cimermanaite

Agne is a journalist and writer with a background in literature, culture, and arts. She entered the Web3 space in 2021 and began writing about cryptocurrency and NFTs. Agne is passionate about technology and storytelling and is always on the lookout for exciting stories.

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