More than one in five are saving or investing less because they cannot access advice on how to handle their money, research for the Nottingham Building Society shows.
Its study found 21% of adults believe they are not saving as much as they could and would be able to put away an extra £134 a month on average if they were able to get financial advice. Around a fifth believe they would be able to save or invest £200 or more extra a month.
It is younger savers and investors who need the support with their finances the most, The Nottingham’s research shows. Nearly one in three (30%) of under-35s believe they are not saving enough because of a lack of advice compared with just 12% of the over-55s questioned.
The society’s research shows there is strong demand for advice on savings and investments but customers are struggling to find advisers. Around 20% say they have struggled to access advice on savings in the past two years and 11% have struggled to get advice on investments.
Banks and building societies are increasingly being considered as a potential source for independent advice – around 73% of adults say they would consider becoming a customer of a bank or building society which provided advice services. However, branch closures are making it more difficult to access advice, The Nottingham warns.
It has responded by transforming its branch proposition to offer a wide range of independent financial advice-based services including support on savings products, and independent whole of market advice for mortgages and financial planning. It also provides support and access to insurance, estate planning and estate agency services.
David Marlow, Chief Executive of The Nottingham, said, “It is worrying that people are saving or investing less than they could afford simply because they cannot access advice on their finances.
“The increasing competition among providers means there is more choice for savers and investors but at the same time people clearly need more support on deciding what is right for them and their individual circumstances.
”Banks and building societies can play a role in making face-to-face advice more accessible but branch closures are making it harder for customers to get the advice they need. The Nottingham is committed to playing its part by expanding its branch network and offering more services.”
Since 2013 The Nottingham has taken over 19 branches from competitors and has recently taken on seven new branches in market towns across the Midlands which were previously operated by the Norwich & Peterborough Building Society
For more information about the Nottingham Building Society (The Nottingham) and the services it offers visit a branch or go to www.thenottingham.com