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Growing advice gap hits savers and investors

October 30, 2013

More than one in four (27%) savers and investors looking for financial advice are finding it difficult or very difficult to find help despite having an average £240 a month to save or invest, new research* commissioned by Yorkshire Building Society shows.

The national survey found half of them believe their savings and investments are too small to interest financial advisers while one in five blames the withdrawal of financial advice services on the High Street and financial advisers closing businesses.

There is growing demand and a need for financial advice — the research reveals 47% of people are deterred from investing in equity-based products due to a lack of knowledge. And 35% of savers are put off saving due to the current low interest rates driven by the Bank of England keeping the base rate at 0.5%.

The research among savers is echoed by independent financial advisers (IFAs) themselves — around 91%** of IFAs warn of a growing financial advice gap in the UK with 45% of them blaming the introduction of the Retail Distribution Review and 23% saying the withdrawal of advice on the High Street is also making it harder for savers to find help with their investments.

Advisers expect the situation to worsen — 53% expect to have to stop advising some clients as their accounts are no longer commercially viable.

The average minimum investable amount set by advisers for their clients is nearly £50,000 (£48,487). The study found 47% of those with savings or investments have a kitty of less than £10,000.

Yorkshire Building Society — including Barnsley, Chelsea and Norwich & Peterborough building societies — believes the difficulty savers face with sourcing help is a growing problem. It is campaigning to highlight the need for advice and the no obligation initial financial advice service available in its 231 branches.

Simon Broadley, Retail Investments Manager at Yorkshire Building Society, said:

We feel offering a service like this is important particularly as changes in financial regulation have prompted many other High Street financial institutions and advisers to withdraw advice.

The introduction of the Retail Distribution Review has been good news for customers by making it clear how much advice costs but there are wider issues to consider.

Clearly there is a problem when 27% of people who want advice are finding it difficult or very difficult to find help. There is a definite demand among savers and investors for help that is not being met.

Customers using the Yorkshire Building Society service offered through Legal & General will not pay for advice unless they choose to invest and can arrange an appointment online at www.ybs.co.uk or by going into branches of the Yorkshire, Chelsea, Norwich & Peterborough and Barnsley building societies.

The research commissioned by Yorkshire Building Society shows currently around one in eight (12%) of savers and investors receive advice on their portfolios. That drops to around 10% among the 35 to 50-year old age group, who potentially face the biggest financial pressures.

Around 80% of adults have some form of savings and investments — women are much more likely to not have any savings or investments with 22% having nothing compared with 14% of men.

The Yorkshire in association with Legal & General, offers tailored advice for all including detailed no obligation recommendations following initial consultations with a fully-qualified financial consultant. Customers who go ahead are charged an initial 3.5% of the value of the investment for advice by L&G. Customers can also opt for an on-going service at an annual cost of 0.65% of the value of their funds.

Please note

You should know that the value of investments may fall as well as rise and you may get back less than you invested.

* Research conducted online by Consumer Intelligence on behalf of Yorkshire Building Society between 9th and 12th September 2013 among a representative sample of 2,169 UK adults

** Research was conducted online on behalf of Yorkshire Building Society via Survey Monkey among a sample of 211 financial advisers between September 9th and 12th 2013

Research Results

Conducted online by Consumer Intelligence on behalf of Yorkshire Building Society between 9th and 12th September 2013 among a representative sample of 2,169 UK adults

REGION Average available to save monthly for those who can afford to save Difficulty finding advice Already take professional advice Put off saving by low rates
Scotland £247.64 18% 9% 26%
Wales £236.65 26% 13% 27%
London £340.87 33% 19% 38%
Yorkshire £214.95 26% 10% 29%
North East £199.82 15% 9% 28%
North West £224.86 15% 14% 25%
East Anglia £243.14 26% 11% 48%
Midlands £238.32 21% 24% 42%
South East £253.66 25% 14% 40%
South West £241.77 20% 21% 41%
UK £241.93 24% 12% 35%

 

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