Our new research shows the financial impact of COVID-19 is driving demand for advice but has not diminished the popularity of face-to-face support.
Nearly one in five (17%) of adults say they are now more likely to seek financial advice in the wake of economic hit from COVID-19 rising to nearly one in four (23%) among under-35s.
A major motivation for seeking advice is the financial impact of COVID-19 for individuals identified by the study – around a third (29%) of adults say the pandemic has knocked their financial planning off course.
Lockdown and ongoing social distancing has however not changed how people prefer to receive advice - nearly two thirds of adults (63%) still want face to face support while 66% worry robo advice may not meet their needs.
General demand for advice remains strong, with over two fifths (44%) of adults saying they would benefit from some form of regular financial advice. It is even more encouraging among 18 – 24-year olds, with over half (55%) valuing financial support.
That applies at work too with 36% saying that they would like their current employer to offer access to financial advice and over one half of 18 – 24-year olds (60%) agreeing that they’d like their employer to offer access to financial advice.
The views from consumers support what advisers believe – our research found 52% of advisers agree that COVID-19 has demonstrated the true value of advice and 35% say that the pandemic will increase demand.
Nearly half (47%) of advisers think that COVID-19 could mean firms need to recruit more advisers to meet growing demand.
Claire Limon, Director of Learning and Acquisition, said: “Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19 and the difficult last six months, it is absolutely clear that the demand for financial advice remains as strong as ever, especially among young adults who have only recently started their careers.
“To some extent it will be about repairing the financial damage of COVID-19, but it is also interesting that people still want to see advisers face to face despite social distancing.
“Openwork is committed to increasing the numbers of advisers across our network to ensure that everyone is able to receive the advice they need and in the way that most suits them and that can mean face to face over the internet or video.
“The growth of our Academy is a testament to our commitment to increase access to advice across the UK, enabling people to receive the help they need to create and protect their wealth.”
In the last three years, the Academy programme has trained and qualified over 120 delegates to diploma status with the CII.