Advisers ready for bounce back after Covid

Advisers ready for bounce back after Covid

Advisers are planning to recover quickly after the Covid-19 pandemic and its lockdown procedures which have affected businesses in various ways.

For Scott Gallacher, chartered financial planner at Rowley Turton, the hope is that “we and everyone else simply bounce back. 

“There certainly seems to be a huge pent-up demand for financial advice and my phone has hardly stopped ringing,” he said.

Ricky Chan, director and chartered financial planner at IFS Wealth and Pensions, told FTAdviser the lifting of lockdown restrictions would “certainly improve sentiment” and “maybe encourage those sitting on the fence to also get in touch about their finances”.

Chan explained: “Those that have been on furlough or made redundant may have found new jobs so want to get their finances back on track. 

“It is definitely not a bad thing for the majority of advisers’ businesses, though relatively speaking we’ve been lucky that business has continued even through the lockdown.”

The Covid-19 pandemic has seen many clients delay decisions they would normally have undertaken, according to a poll from Octopus Investments.

The firm polled 700 advisers in January and found three in five (61 per cent) had clients who had delayed making financial decisions as a result of the pandemic, including tax planning.

Barriers to communication were cited as a potential cause of delays, with a quarter of advisers saying it had become harder to communicate with their clients during the pandemic.

And separate research from FundsNetwork showed that more than half of financial advisers have seen their firms’ three- to five-year plans disrupted by Covid. 

However, advisers told FTAdviser they are optimistic about their future growth.

Stephanie Pickering, chartered financial planner at Verity Wealth Management, said her business was unusually busy for this time of year.

Pickering said: “As a business that does not actively look for new clients we are being approached by more people for help, having generally found us online or as a referral from our existing clients or our professional connections.   

“There appears to be a lot of people with money to invest or needing less income, having not spent as normal during the last twelve months.”

For Sebastien de la Fuente, practice principal at Highcross Financial, there will be an initial “hurrah” on the presumption that “unlocking plans continue as planned and this ends being the last lockdown”.

Following this, he expects the industry to return to general long-term trends.

“I do not expect any big-bang type flourish nor a stagnant market because we would’ve seen the beginnings of that already,” he explained.

Ruth Gillbe is a freelance reporter for FTAdviser