Numbers taking financial advice rises by 1.3 million

Written by Adam Cadle

A total of 4.5 million UK adults took financial advice on investments, saving into a pension or retirement planning in the last 12 months – an increase of 1.3 million compared to the previous year.

The FCA’s latest survey The changing shape of the consumer market for advice has shown however there are 18.2 million people who have £10,000 or more in savings and/or investments and who might have a need for advice but haven’t taken advice.

The types of people accessing regulated financial advice are not materially different from 2017 – more men have had advice than women, and the propensity to have had advice increases markedly with age and wealth, and education levels.

Nine in ten UK adults aged 18 or over, or 46.5 million people, have not had regulated financial advice in the last 12 months. Of these, two-fifths, or 18.2 million people, have £10,000 or more savings and/or investments and, therefore, might have a need for advice. This group equates to 36% of the UK population as a whole.

The survey said those who have had regulated financial advice in the last 12 months are generally satisfied with the quality of the service received and the price paid, and there is little shopping around.

Nine in ten of those who had regulated financial advice in both 2017 and 2018 always use the same firm for all of their advice needs, and only a very small proportion (9%) had changed firm in the last 12 months. Two thirds of all advised adults in 2018 said they did not compare two or more different advisers or firms by looking at the services and rates offered before using their adviser/firm.

“Today more than ever, individuals are left to take personal responsibility for their financial futures so it’s encouraging to see a greater number seeking the valuable support of professional financial advisers,” Aegon pensions director Steven Cameron stated.

“When it comes to pensions and retirement, the golden days of employers taking responsibility for their employees’ pensions through generous defined benefit schemes are long gone. While millions are benefiting from being auto-enrolled into defined contribution workplace schemes, these leave the individual with important decisions to make on how much to pay in, where to invest and how to draw an income in retirement.

"These are important decisions and while the sharp increase in numbers taking advice is encouraging, the FCA has also pointed to a further 18 million people who haven’t taken advice but who might benefit from doing so. The financial services industry needs to continue to focus on ensuring individuals have access to the support and financial advice they need throughout their lives.”

To view the full research click here

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