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Advisers deliver significant benefits for millions in the pandemic

More than 6.3 million people value financial advice more following the COVID-19 pandemic with under-35s particularly appreciative, new research from The Openwork Partnership shows.

New research from The Openwork Partnership, one of the UK’s largest and longest established financial advice and investment networks, shows professional financial advice has boosted its reputation during the pandemic with  under-35s in particular seeing the benefits.

The nationwide study found that one in eight (12%) of adults – the equivalent of 6.3 million people – now value professional financial advice more and that number nearly doubles to 23% among the under-35s.

The research highlights how people have benefited from talking to advisers – around one in six people (16%) say the value of their investments has grown as a result while 12% say they avoided making mistakes with their mortgage and 11% have seen the value of their pension increase.

Advisers have helped 2.3 million take out vital protection insurance which they would not have done otherwise while around 2.39 million were able to help family with their finances as a result of advice they received.

However the study identifies a bigger issue for the financial services industry and advisers – the number of people missing out on support. Nearly half (45%) of adults have never seen an adviser and that applies across all age groups. Around 48% of under-35s say they have never seen adviser compared with 46% of over-55s.

Around one in 10 (9%) of people questioned say they have an adviser or firm they see regularly while another 11% say they have seen advisers or firms in the past year with around 2.6 million saying they contacted an adviser as a direct result of the pandemic.

Mike Morrow, Chief Commercial Officer at The Openwork Partnership, said: “Professional financial advice has been vital during the pandemic and delivered significant benefits for millions of people when they have needed help.

“Millions now recognise the value of professional advice and the practical impact of advice in helping to increase the value of investments and secure mortgages. Just as importantly people acknowledge they have taken action on protection which they would not have considered without support from an adviser.

“Of course, there is the issue that millions never see an adviser or seek advice on their finances which the industry has to do more to address. The Openwork Partnership is working hard to spread the message on the value of advice and the support that our network delivers.”

Recognition of the value of advice has increased the most in London where people are also the most likely to have seen an adviser in the past year. More than one in four (26%) of Londoners value advice more and 22% have sought professional advice in the past year.

People in Scotland and Northern Ireland are also more likely than the rest of the country to value advice more while adults in the North East and Northern Ireland are more likely to have seen an adviser in the past year. The table below shows the picture across the country.

 

REGION HOW MANY VALUE ADVICE MORE HOW MANY SAW AN ADVISER IN THE PAST YEAR
London 26% 22%
North East 9% 13%
Scotland 14% 9%
North West 9% 9%
South West 6% 9%
East Midlands 12% 10%
South East 9% 9%
West Midlands 9% 11%
Northern Ireland 18% 13%
Yorkshire & The Humber 9% 9%
East of England 9% 10%
Wales 13% 10%

 

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