People aged 50-90+ trust the financial expertise of Martin Lewis more than that of banks and financial institutions – whose advice they often find “patronising, condescending and self-serving”.
And an industry expert says the financial sector only has itself to blame for how it is viewed by 50-90 years olds because it has squandered their trust.
These findings come from the LiveMore Barometer, a detailed indicator of the financial concerns of 2,000+ people within this age group. LiveMore is the go-to mortgage lender for 50-90+ year-olds.
When asked to say which financial advice they trust the most, the highest number of 50-90 year-olds (35%) put Martin Lewis’ top – above friends and family (30%) and their own online research (29%).
Bank managers were the least trusted cited by just 15% of respondents with financial advisers fairing slightly better (22%).
One in seven respondents (14%) say they feel like the “forgotten generation” when it comes to financial products. Some felt that the financial institutions were either not working on their behalf, did not have enough information for them or over-promoted certain products to ensure a sale.
Others said that financial products aimed at them did not address the real issues facing people of their age – while many said that the promotion of financial products to people over the age of 50 was “patronising and condescending.”
One said: “I feel invisible. Not old enough for a lifetime mortgage, not rich enough for fixed-rate mortgages on the market. I have no help from anyone.”
LiveMore’s CEO Leon Diamond says he understands why the public is losing trust and putting its faith in experts like Lewis: “It’s become fashionable for the financial industry to criticise Martin Lewis but that’s because it’s threatened by him.
“His critics say he’s a journalist, not a financial expert, but whether they like it or not, he has consistently shone a light on an industry which is often less than transparent – and that has created a trust issue. When it comes to 50-90 year-olds, the findings of our survey show how stark that lack of trust has become with formal industry advice languishing near the bottom of the rankings.
“People are now looking to do their own research, they want to come to their own conclusions and, when they do so, the industry’s impenetrable language of rates and commission fees pushes them into the space owned by Martin Lewis – where the language is more transparent and where all the options are, frankly, explained more clearly.”
Mr Diamond said the industry’s past preference for mortgage rate short-termism was a big part of the trust issue. He said: “In the US and Europe, 10, 15 or 30-year fixed rate mortgages are common. While in the UK, the industry continues to work on short-term two or five-year cycles.
“We are at the end of the era of cheap money and, in increasingly uncertain times like these, paying a bit more for longer-term certainty has to be the right advice for a lot of people – particularly those aged 50-90, whose incomes are often based on more volatile pensions and savings.
“Our industry has to listen to these voices. It has to be about what’s best for the borrower. We understand the important role that advisers have in the lives of their customers, that is why LiveMore has an ongoing care call fee that we pay to intermediaries. We just want the best for our customers.”