Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has already cut hundreds of jobs as a result of a growing focus on so-called 'robo advice', which has just been approved by regulators.

The bank will cut 220 face-to-face financial advisers as it, and the industry, starts to favour automated, technology services. RBS said that only wealthier clients would receive face-to-face, personalised advice.

Following a seven-month review, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) approved 'robo advice', claiming it could "play a major role in driving down costs" of financial advice.

'Robo advice' will allow customers to answer a few questions about their circumstances online and receive automated, free, financial advice.

The review also recommended that the regulator set up a new unit designed to give advice to financial organisations launching their own automated services. At least three High Street banks are understood to be preparing to launch their service in the near future.

The FCA said the reason behind its approval is that most people want informal guidance, rather than a fully-fledged, paid-for, service. It also recommended several ways in which employers can give guidance, including a 'nudge' at certain point in their employees' lives to take financial action

Tracey McDermott, acting chief executive of the FCA, said: "The package of reforms we have laid out today will help increase both the accessibility and affordability of the advice and guidance, to ensure that consumers get the help they really need when they really need it."