More people in the UK will fail to get the financial advice they need as the gap looks set to widen.
This is according to a report, Bridging the Gap, from Octopus Investments, which surveyed 255 advisers across the country.
It found six-in-10 (60%) turned away clients in the past 12 months, which could get worse, as 62% of advisers plan to retire within 10 years.
Some 67% of advisers are struggling to find talent, as twice as many students would join the sector if they understood the role.
Awareness is key
Ruth Handcock, chief executive of Octopus Investments, said: “The report’s findings are worrying, especially at a time when many people find themselves in a period of financial uncertainty as a result of covid-19 and need advice.
“We need more not fewer financial advisers in the UK, but the good news is this is a problem we can solve. The evidence suggests that if we raise awareness of the profession and help more people understand what the role actually involves, the talent will follow.
“Becoming a financial adviser offers a rich and varied career, and an opportunity to help people achieve their life goals. We just need to get that message out there.”
Later life planning
The inability to find advisers of advisers could leave Brits stranded at a time when they need advice the most.
Costs around later life care are a big talking point politically and a recent study suggested local politicians should be more hands-on to help residents get advice.
Just Group surveyed Brits over-45s for its Care Report 2020 and found more than half would find a referral from their local council to an IFA helpful when planning finances for care in later life.
Some 35% said that they would then meet an adviser in person, with a further 26% likely to make contact by phone or online.
Of those who have already co-ordinated care for an elderly relative, 78% thought the system was too complex to navigate, and 77% found the whole process of finding care stressful.
Stephen Lowe, group communications director at Just Group, said: “The evidence shows people want help understanding their options on paying for care. Organising care is an onerous undertaking.
“There is currently a large gap between the high number who would welcome a referral to a financial adviser from their council and a much smaller number who would think about contacting an adviser unprompted.
“Advice firms may see the opportunity but are perhaps wary of the complexity given the interaction of both regulated financial advice and non-regulated areas such as state benefits, treatment of the home in the means test and deliberate deprivation rules.”