PR job needed on financial advice to tackle ‘finfluencer’ challenge

There is a PR job to do on financial advice and guidance to help tackle the challenge of the rise of financial influencers, known as ‘finfluencers’, M&G Wealth Advice CEO, Ross Linton has said.

Speaking at the Association of British Insurers (ABI) Annual Conference during a panel session on empowering customers to make good choices, Linton said in response to the rise of ‘finfluencers’: “A lot of these challenges we are alluding to are big challenges and big challenges are going to need everyone to come together... it’s how we come together and understand what’s really happening in the broader market and make decisions and work together.

“I think we do have a bit of a PR job as well to do in terms of financial advice and guidance and that brings us back to the trust point again but it is by working together that we can try deal with these things.”

Fellow panelist, Aviva head of savings and retirement, Alistair McQueen, quoted research by the Financial Conduct Authority that 75% of under-30s use social media to get financial advice.

“TikTok is speaking to the under-30s. We mustn’t have this debate in our own ABI bubble. There is a world believe it or not beyond the walls of the ABI and there are big companies out there, way bigger than us that young people are listening to, I fear. That is a massive risk and it is a very difficult one. One way in which we can respond is by empowering regulated firms like any of us to help their customers some more.”

However, Money and Pensions Service CEO, Oliver Morley, cautioned that not all ‘finfluencers’ are bad.

“Some of them are great and we immediately go into this discussion around the negative side and the ones who aren’t necessarily helping people, but some have a profoundly positive impact and it is a question of making sure we have a regulated environment where they can really get home useful messages to people who need it. That’s not to say that it is to a degree a territory that really does require some thought on how better to bring in some control but don’t assume that everyone is just wrong.”

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