Quarter of consumers say providers don’t provide quality support

A quarter (24%) of consumers have said that their investment and pensions providers fail to provide quality support and after-sales care, Moneyhub has found.

The open banking, open finance and payments provider said that a “lack of guidance is holding people back from making more prudent financial decisions”, while there are signs that “some financial service providers are not delivering” on Consumer Duty requirements.

The research also revealed a disparity in guidance and advice between consumers falling within different income brackets.

Despite 42% of people saying they don’t find it east to interact with their provider, this figure drops to 15% of those earning £100,000 or more.

For higher earners, two in five (40%) strongly agree that their provider offers them a personalised service, compared to an average of 13% for those earning under £100,000.

Managing director at Moneyhub personal finance technology, Mark Horwood-James, said: "With the current availability of customer-focused solutions through open finance and open banking technologies, there’s no reason for consumers to be still struggling with feelings of uncertainty or neglect. Through the advance of technology, good financial guidance does not have to be exclusive to those who are wealthy enough to pay for the privilege.

"The opportunity is clear for financial service providers: empower customers to make better financial decisions and, in the process, improve their financial wellbeing and ability to save or invest. The race is on to deliver the best solutions and experiences that benefit all customers."

Moneyhub also stated that "technological shortcomings" can at least be partially to blame for the guidance gap.

A fifth (21%) of consumers said that being able to make flexible top-ups, based on how much they have spare each month, would encourage them to add more into their pensions or investments.

Similarly, 16% stated that they would benefit from east to access projections on what their current savings would be worth in the future.

President at the Pensions Administration Standards Association, Margaret Snowdon OBE, added: "The adoption of new technologies, especially in the form of open finance and open banking solutions, performs two important actions at once for pensions and investment providers.

"On the one hand it is the only way to face up and respond to the new FCA Consumer Duty demands - the key elements of the relationship between the provider and consumer can all be addressed through the simple adoption of already available technologies.

"On the other hand, the technologies improve the customer’s chances of making the correct financial decisions at the right time, thus bettering outcomes for themselves and their provider."

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