Royal Bank of Scotland is axing 550 jobs and replacing them with so-called artificial intelligence robo-advisers, in the company’s latest move to cut costs.

The axe is set to fall on RBS’s investment advice division as well as its protection advice team, with the bank blaming falling demand for face-to-face services for the job losses.

Robo-advice, popularised by digital startups such as Nutmeg, tells customers where they should invest based on a series of online questionnaires about their financial situation. Traditionally these services have catered to the online wealth management market but are now expanding into investment advice.

RBS, 73 per cent owned by the government, is working to bring down costs after posting its eighth successive net annual loss earlier this year.

In-person investment advice is also going to be available to fewer RBS customers as the requirement threshold is raised to £250,000, from £100,000 currently. “We want to help as many customers as possible invest their money in the right way for them,” a spokesperson for the bank said.

“The demand for face to face investment advice is changing. Our customers increasingly want to bank with us using digital technology. As a result, we are scaling back our face-to-face advisers and significantly investing in an online investing platform that enables us to help a new group of customers with as little as £500 to invest.”

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