Our new research shows that despite a rising need for financial advice, many adults still don’t know where to access support.
Our nationwide study among adults found that around a third (33%) of adults are uncertain about where to access financial advice, with women (35%) slightly more uncertain than men (30%).
The under-25s are even more confused - over half (51%) of 18 – 24-year olds do not know where to get advice. As many younger people will only just have started to save for retirement or may not have begun, it is critical that they are given the right guidance as early as possible and importantly understand how and where to access a financial adviser.
Despite a growing shift towards increased use of technology the overwhelming majority of adults (75%) would prefer face to face interaction with a financial adviser, the research found.
Over two thirds (67%) of adults agree that robo-advice might not be entirely appropriate for their specific needs, with both 18 – 24-year olds (71%) and 55 – 64-year olds (73%) saying that they are unsure about its benefits.
Access to financial advice is being squeezed despite the focus by advice firms on expanding their networks - data shows 3,312 bank and building society branches closed their doors between January 2015 and August 2019, with an average of 55 closures a month.
Our research shows a real need for financial advice, with more than a quarter of all adults – 27% of people – saying that they don’t know if they are on target with retirement saving.
Our Wealth & Platform Directorm Mike Morrow, said: “Despite the growing demand for expert financial advice it is worrying to think that as we enter a new decade so many people don’t know where to access financial advice.
“There are many helpful online tools such as the The Pension Advisory Service, The Money Advice Service and Unbiased.co.uk, however much more needs to be done by the industry and the Government to help people access the financial advice they both need and deserve.
“At Openwork, expanding access to face to face financial advice is a strategic priority and, in order to meet the growing demand, we will continue to recruit and train more advisers. Our market-leading Openwork Academy, which has enrolled more than 400 candidates since launching in October 2014, will be critical in meeting this strategic ambition and we look forward to welcoming more recruits over the next 12 months.”