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Almost half of UK adults shun advisers

Many are ‘crossing their fingers’ as others bury their heads in the sand when it comes to planning


At a time when more people need to be talking to IFAs about their finances, many Brits are still reluctant to do so.

Financial services firm Sanlam UK surveyed over 1,000 adults for its “What’s Your Number?” report and found almost half (48%) are opting against speaking with an adviser.

Some 44% of those who haven’t spoken to an IFA believe they can manage their finances themselves.

This data comes weeks after the firm found 40 million UK adults have not set a target for their retirement savings.

Generational shift

In the survey, older generations were the least likely to have spoken with a professional.

Over half (51%) of those over 65 had never taken any financial advice, with 57% saying this was because they could do it on their own.

Amazingly, 19% of respondents with over £100,000 ($129,000, €116,000) in savings admitted they had not spoken with a professional adviser at any point in their lives, with the majority of them saying they trusted their own instincts (60%).

Of those that were doing it themselves, the most common source of information was speaking to family members (26%).


However, the survey showed some stark differences between those who had received advice and those who hadn’t.

Advised clients were twice as confident about being able to retire how and when they would like to (59% vs 30% non-advised).

They were also far more likely to have set a target income for their retirement (27% vs 19%), and to have allocated and passed on money while they are still alive (67% vs 40%).

Heads buried in the sand

Lawrence Cook, Sanlam head of UK intermediaries distribution, said: “In this age of accessible information, the temptation is to think that all the answers to problems we face can be found online.

“When it comes to retirement, the real task lies in identifying the right questions to ask. Holistic financial planning is about so much more than tactical advice, and most will naturally be unaware of the financial planning strategies that can help them reach their financial goals.

“Where the real value that an IFA can add now comes in their ability to engage in relationships with their clients, understanding the issues they face and helping them consider their whole financial universe to create a plan that can help them achieve their goals.

“At the heart of the problem, many are simply crossing their fingers – in some cases burying their heads in the sand altogether.”

Cook was recently interviewed by International Adviser and he said that Sanlam UK wants to be the “go-to brand for intermediaries” in the next few years.

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