Aviva Financial Advice will now offer advice on investments, in addition to pensions, annuities and defined benefit transfers.
Aviva has today (May 6) included investment advice as part of its offering after feedback showed clients wanted to discuss their wider financial planning as well as thinking about planning for retirement.
Mary Harper, managing director of Aviva Financial Advice said: “We are delighted to announce the addition of investment advice to our advice offering.
“Our ambition is to help bridge the advice gap, so we will continue to look at how we make our advice offering more accessible to more people, whether that is by adding more propositions, if we see the demand, or thinking flexibly about other ways in which people can benefit from advice, whether that’s the full service or a simplified version.”
Aviva will now provide investment advice on Isas, general investment accounts/open ended investment companies and onshore bonds.
Clients can receive advice on investments alone, pensions alone or a combination of both.
The firm said it takes advantage of Aviva Investors to integrate ESG considerations into investment solutions - but the advice will not be restricted to Aviva Investors and clients will be able to invest in anything available through the Aviva platform.
Aviva said providing advice on investments is key in helping savers become more comfortable with the concept of risk and return, rather than keeping the vast majority of savings in cash.
Aviva pointed out that recent research by the FCA identified £10,000 saved in cash in 2008 would have been worth £11,720 by 2018, but if the same amount had been invested, it would have been worth £21,905 by the end of the same period.
Harper said while cash will always play a part in prudent financial planning alongside other savings strategies, it should not be overly relied on, particularly when interest rates are low.
She said: “That’s why we’re pleased to be able to provide that advice on investments, broadening the level of support we can offer.
“Our financial advisers will be able to build a personalised investment plan for customers, tailored to their goals matching their needs at a level of risk and return they are comfortable with.”
Aviva Financial Advice, which has 28 advisers, was set up in 2016 to bridge the advice gap fuelled by the pensions freedoms which came into force the previous year, and initially offered advice on pensions and annuities.
Advice on DB transfers was added later, and more recently abridged advice to help savers decide whether or not they need to proceed to full advice.
Abridged advice sits in between triage and full pension transfer advice but can only result in a personal recommendation to not transfer out of a defined benefit scheme.
Last year, Aviva said it was looking into launching a ‘simplified advice’ offering for a lower cost.
Back in March, Lindsey Rix, former chief executive officer of UK Savings and Retirement at Aviva, told FTAdviser it would look to launch this offering over the course of 2021.