Unlocking the £185bn adviser opportunity
Around 39 million adults in the UK fall into the advice gap. We believe our industry has a responsibility to change that.
In our latest research, we reveal the potentially significant adviser opportunities that reside within the advice gap.
We also dig into why millions of customers miss out on the proven benefits of money advice – and how our industry might work together to connect more people with the help they need.
What our research reveals
There's a £185bn opportunity for advisers
There are six key barriers to financial advice
There's more to the advice gap than meets the eye
Exploring the advice gap research report
39 million consumers fall into the advice gap. To better understand this challenge, we’ve carried out research with customers and professional financial advisers.
Our key learning is the fact the advice gap is formed by different segments of customers who are all facing different challenges.
In this report we’ll bring these populations to life, explore their financial needs and present our view on what our industry has to do in order to help them.
If we’re going to dispel some of these myths, we have work to do in making sure the profession is better understood. For those of us who work in the industry, the benefits for people taking advice are very clear. But for those who don’t, much of it remains something of a mystery.
Director of Policy and External Affairs
Read Jamie's thoughts on what's stopping people from seeking financial advice.
How professional financial advice changes lives
See how ongoing financial advice has helped to change the game for someone.
Transcript for 'Keep life on track'
My name is David Ellis, and I've worked for Royal London for 13 years.
My current role requires me to lead our trading relationships with the UK's largest financial advice firms. Working in partnership with advises to deliver good customer outcomes, is something that I'm very passionate about, because I know from personal experience that financial advice has the power to change lives.
Everyone has to face challenges in their lives, sadly, my big life shock came at an early age.
My father died suddenly when I was 18, and my brother was 10. As you can imagine, this was a devastating blow for our family.
Particularly for my mother.
I remember that once she got us through the initial difficulties like the funeral, thoughts quickly turned to finances, my mother only worked part-time, and my dad was the main income earner.
So, my father's death left us incredibly unsure about how we would fund our futures. I was about to go to university, but I resigned myself to the fact that would have to change my plans. And I started to look for a job to help support the family.
Then one evening a friend and my dad's turned up at the house to see my mother, his name was Keith Thompson, And, as it turned out, he was a financial advisor. Keith went to work helping my mother by putting a financial plan in place to supplement her small widow's pension by investing some life insurance money she'd received.
Money was still tight. But with a careful lifestyle and regular reviews from Keith, the plan ended up giving my mother an element of financial freedom. Considering our circumstances, the peace of mind, that this brought was absolutely invaluable. I was able to go off to university as originally planned and my brother, likewise, eight years later. In essence, the financial advice that Keith gave played a strong part in keeping our lives on track. In fact, all that Keith, his colleagues, and the product providers, he recommended did for us in our moment of truth, made me consider financial services as a very worthy profession, leaving university. I entered financial services on a graduate scheme and have remained in the industry ever since. I'm very proud to be working for a provider like Royal London. That works so hard to help advisers deliver great client outcomes. I really believe financial advice has the power to change lives because it helped change mine.
Transcript for 'Mental and financial wellbeing'
My name is Alex Binnington and I’ve been a financial advisor for over 25 years. What I love about my job is that no two days are the same. One day, I can speak to somebody about their life savings. The next day, I'm talking to a business owner about succession planning.
But for me, it's always about trying to understand what each client wants from life, and then helping them on the financial journey. So, about three years ago, I was introduced to a client who had a number of pensions to review.
It was clear from our initial conversation that he's somebody that we would class as being vulnerable because he'd had some historic mental health issues, he’d not been able to work for some time and he'd been claiming benefits.
He could be a bit up and down emotionally. So, to make him feel more comfortable, I offered to visit him at his home and suggested that he had a friend with him when we met just to offer some reassurance and comfort. During the conversations we were having.
So, within a year of helping him consolidate his pensions, he was actually approached by an overseas company which was clearly a scam. Unfortunately, he did fall for it and filled in some paperwork with them. He then rang me and quite a lot of distress, explaining what he’d done.
So, I got involved, explained all of the dangers to him and managed to block the transfer. I spoke to Royal London straight away and they helped as well by blocking it so that he didn't lose any money.
To help my client deal with some of the financial issues he was facing at the time, I encouraged him to get a full mental health assessment from his GP just to see whether he’d be eligible to access his pension savings early. That ultimately proved to be possible. And it's allowed him to repay debts, stabilize his finances and buy a small property overseas, but most importantly, it's led to a vast improvement in the client's mental health and emotional well-being.
The last couple years I've been able to help him avoid a pension scam. Access his funds early, repay his debts and buy an overseas property. And I actually got a text from him the other day to say that he's feeling really comfortable and life’s good. So many families are going through difficult and uncertain times right now, so to know that the advice I offer can have such a positive life changing effect, that is a really good feeling.
Transcript for 'Dealing with life shocks'
I'm David Smith, and I'm a mortgage and protection advisor at a small firm based in Hull. I first qualified as a protection advisor in 2017 and a mortgage adviser a year later. I actually have a degree in philosophy, politics, and economics so I've always been interested in the emotional impact money can have on people's well-being. I enjoy helping people fulfil their financial goals and giving them that peace of mind so that they're fully prepared if life does throw them that curve ball. Back in October 2018 I advised a young couple who had just re-mortgaged, he was a self-employed joiner, she was a hairdresser.
And they had their first baby on the way. Things were starting to take shape for them. So I brought up protection, but they were young fit, budget conscious, I thought it was going to be a thanks, but no thanks.
But with their financial commitments and growing family, I explained there was a need to keep a roof over their heads if something were to happen to one of them. I recommended life and critical illness cover with the enhance children's cover, and they went ahead with it.
A few months later, a little girl arrived, and they were looking forward to the future as a family together. About a year after meeting them. I got a phone call from a client; he'd been diagnosed with kidney failure. He wanted to know if the policy would pay out.
He was in shock and understandably very anxious because no one ever sees these things coming. He wanted to know what this meant, not just for him, but also his family.
When I picked up the phone to Royal London, all I wanted to do was give the client the reassurance he needed. To my relief, he was covered, the plan paid out and the claims process was very straightforward. With my client unable to work the money gave them financial stability they needed, and now I'm helping them to buy their new dream home. It's been a really emotional time for this family. My client is still on the waiting list for a transplant, but, thankfully, through all of this, they've been able to focus on what's most important. For me, it's been rewarding to see how good advice at the right moments can help people through the worst time in their lives. It feels good to be able to make such a positive difference.