UK regions seeing rising interest in financial advice

UK regions seeing rising interest in financial advice

London, Scotland and Northern Ireland have seen the largest upticks in interest for professional financial advice since the beginning of the pandemic, a nationwide survey has found.

For the first time, advice network Openwork Partnership has broken down interest in advice by UK regions.

It found London came out on top, with 26 per cent of adults in England’s capital valuing the idea of advice more than they did before March 2020.

This was also the region where people were the most likely to have seen an adviser in the past year, at 22 per cent. 

Northern Ireland came in second, with an 18 per cent uptick in interest in financial advice, whilst Scotland came in third with a 14 per cent uptick.

The region with the lowest growth in interest since the pandemic was the South West, with just a 6 per cent uptick in the last 18 months.

Mike Morrow, chief commercial officer at The Openwork Partnership, said: “Professional financial advice has been vital during the pandemic and delivered significant benefits for millions of people when they have needed help.

“Millions now recognise the value of professional advice and the practical impact of advice in helping to increase the value of investments and secure mortgages.

"Just as importantly people acknowledge they have taken action on protection which they would not have considered without support from an adviser."

RegionHow many adults value advice more since the pandemicHow many adults saw an adviser in the last year
North East9%13%
North West9%9%
South West6%9%
East Midlands12%10%
South East9%9%
West Midlands9%11%
Northern Ireland18%13%
Yorkshire & The Humber9%9%
East of England9%10%
National average12%11%

On average one in eight (12 per cent) of the UK’s adult population - equivalent to 6.3m people - value professional financial advice more now than they did at the beginning of the pandemic.

This figure nearly doubled to 23 per cent among the under-35s Openwork surveyed.

Lewis Shaw, mortgage, protection & equity release adviser at Nottinghamshire-based Shaw Financial Services, said: "I've definitely seen an uptick in people wanting advice, specifically from independent advisers, mainly from younger people who understand the Socratic position in knowing that they don't know much and therefore are seeking out quality guidance and advice."

But whilst there has been an uptick in interest for professional financial advice over the last 18 months, particularly among younger generations, there is still a gap between interest and actual uptake of advice.

In London, this gap spans 4 per cent. In Northern Ireland and Scotland, this spans a greater 5 per cent. 

Interestingly, in the North East, South West, and West Midlands, the gap goes the other way - with more people seeing advisers in the last year than simply expressing an interest in getting one.

Sam Marriott, director & co-founder of Manchester-based CSE Financial Services, said: "We certainly saw more of an interest in getting advice, but with the pandemic, the client's ability to financially act on that advice has declined.

"We are only getting back to normality now, to where unfortunately clients don't feel as much a need for advice, but the ones that do, take it."