BOSTON -- Schwab's decision to build a robo advisor rather than buy an existing platform was probably why it was denounced by digital competitors when it launched earlier this year, Walt Bettinger, Schwab’s president and CEO, told the audience at its annual Impact conference.

When Schwab's Intelligent Portfolios was unveiled in March, the firm suggested its offering was cheaper and more trustworthy than the platforms being touted by digital-first firms.

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