How exactly will robo advisors affect the bank channel? Will they steal enough wealth management business that the bank channel becomes unrecognizable? Or, less drastically, will they carve out a new niche and exist alongside the current wealth management incumbents?

That is just one of the challenges that surfaced in this month’s cover story by Associate Editor Margarida Correia. She spoke to industry analysts and bankers about the current challenges and how bank advisors are facing them. Banks are definitely eyeing the robos warily, as these new competitors are charging just “pennies on the dollar,” according to an industry consultant. Others note that the industry sounded the same alarm over discount brokerage firms when they emerged in the 1970s, and they didn’t spell doom for traditional advisors. Still others envision partnerships with these new cheaper alternatives.

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