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Over 50s shun robo-advice

New research from Visible Capital on the over 50s market shows that 82% would not take financial advice from a robo-adviser and 88% would not be willing to give details of their finances to a robo-adviser to enable them to give a better personalised service.

The results come from new research carried out amongst UK adults with an age range from 50 upwards, with the bulk of the respondents aged 60 to 80. 38% said they currently access financial advice through an adviser or accountant.

This aversion to pure digital advice was amongst a cohort of whom over 60% said they had been relying on technology more during the pandemic period and are comfortable with technology and have clearly adapted well to navigating the huge range of interactions and services which have gone online during COVID19.

Among the group, 84% were using online services for general banking, 52% for insurance, 44% savings and investments, 64% for payments and transfers and their 55% were managing their credit cards digitally. Yet only 15% of respondents used online services for advice.

A fifth (20%) of respondents said they trusted technology less coming out of the pandemic; perhaps some of their digital encounters have been frustrating and only borne of necessity.

Ross Laurie, CEO Visible Capital, comments: “This should be interesting reading for financial advisers being a wealth cohort of which 64% said they felt ‘reasonably well off’, which for the majority of advice firms will sit squarely within their core client group.

“A large proportion of respondents have been using technology more in the past year, and are happy using digital resources for general banking, payments and transfers and managing their savings and ISAs, yet when it comes to financial advice they were less keen to use a robo-adviser.

“Which means there is plenty of space for advisers able to deliver a service that can appeal to this tech-savvy cohort.

“There is an opportunity now for financial advice firms to steal a march on the market by taking the trusted face-to-face advice format and combining it with available technology to deliver a hybrid service which blends the benefits of automation and online finance with personal touch advice to offer a best of both worlds approach.”

Laurie adds: “The results of our survey show that age 50+ savers and investors are no strangers to using digital services, which has been accelerated by the pandemic and is likely to grow in the post pandemic world. But, as yet, they have not taken advantage of online financial advice. Our survey results show that trust is a major factor here. Utilising the tools and services with which this group are already familiar – online banking, investing, saving, etc, – advice firms can offer this day-to-day technology with the kind of personal, trusted human advice which many of them already value.

“Advisers have a real opportunity to step into the hybrid advice space and claim it as their own.”

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