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 has suggested.
The study found 21 per cent 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 could get financial advice – the equivalent of more than £1,600 or three weeks’ average earnings before tax.
The research showed younger savers and investors were affected most by this, with nearly one in three (30 per cent) of under-35s believing they were not saving enough because of a lack of advice compared with just 12 per cent of over-55s.
Around 20 per cent said they struggled to access advice on savings in the past two years and 11 per cent struggled to get advice on investments.
David Marlow, chief executive of The Nottingham, said: “It is very worrying that people are missing out on saving and investing simply because they struggle to get independent advice.
“The recent rate rise and increased competition among providers means there is more choice than ever but at the same time people clearly need more help to decide what is right for them and their individual circumstances.”
”Branch closures are making it difficult for savers to get the advice they need to make major financial decisions.
"As a mutual building society, we have a significant role to play in helping members to plan for the future which is why we are expanding our branch network and providing our unique combination of advice and service all available under one roof.
“We would urge other banks and building societies to review the services their branches offer to make them more appealing and if they are planning closures we’d urge them to spend more time trying to find a competitor that can open new branches in their place.”
The survey found banks and building societies were being considered a potential source for independent advice, with around 73 per cent of adults saying they would consider becoming a customer of a bank or building society which provided advice services.
The research was conducted online on 30 October among a nationally representative sample of 1,079 adults aged 18 or over.