Advisers helping their clients rebuild after pandemic

New research from The Openwork Partnership, one of the UK’s largest and longest established financial advice and investment networks, shows advisers are working hard to help clients review their finances in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Its study found advisers estimate that on average nearly half (46%) of their clients are engaged in comprehensive reviews of their financial situation in the wake of the pandemic. For nearly a third of advisers (30%) that figure rises to 75% or more of their clients.

The pandemic has had a major impact on advisers and their clients, research found. Advisers estimate that on average 15% of their clients have suffered financial losses during the crisis. Around one in 10 advisers warn 30% or more of their clients have suffered financially.

However, the comprehensive financial reviews are addressing a wider range of issues than just financial losses. The Openwork Partnership research found advisers say clients are most likely to have stopped saving or investing or to have taken money out of pension funds.

Around half of advisers (46%) say they have seen clients stopping saving or investing while 44% have seen clients take tax-free cash earlier than planned on their pensions while 40% report clients have taken money out of pension funds.

Around two-fifths (37%) say clients have been running down savings and reducing their drawdown income while 26% have cashed in investments. The table below shows the major actions clients have taken.

Actions clients have taken as a result of being adversely financially impacted by pandemic % of clients
Stopped investing or saving 46%
Taken tax-free lump sums earlier than planned 44%
Taken money out of their pension funds 40%
Run down savings 37%
Reduced pension income from drawdown 34%
Sold investments 26%
Adapted investment strategy in line with changes to their attitude to risk 16%
Downsized or started to downsize their main home 9%
Released equity from their property 8%
Remortgaged to reduce their mortgage payments 7%

Source: The Openwork Partnership 2021

More than half (54%) of advisers have also seen an increase in clients cashing in on pensions early by taking tax-free cash or going into drawdown during the crisis.

Mike Morrow, Chief Commercial Officer at The Openwork Partnership, said: “The pandemic has undoubtedly had an impact on people’s finances with winners as well as losers.

“With so many changes, it is good to see that more people have been seeking professional advice to ensure their money works hard for them. What might seem like a good idea right now could have negative consequences for you later in life. It’s best to get help from a financial adviser and ensure you have all the details necessary to make an informed decision.”

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