Helping people to access remote financial advice
Covid-19 has changed our way of life in ways we could have never predicted. However, some things remain the same. One of these is Quilter’s commitment to offering valuable and accessible professional financial advice.
And now more than ever financial advice is going to be vital for people. And this is not just in terms of pounds and pence, which is obviously important. This is about that feeling of financial security and wellbeing. Something that is priceless, particularly in the current climate.
Today’s pension regime places responsibility on individuals to ensure they’re financially prepared for retirement, so access to good financial guidance and advice is critical, even more so in volatile markets. Yet there are only around 23,000 qualified financial advisers in the UK.
This is why, as part of our commitments to being a Responsible Business, we have committed to improve access to financial guidance and advice for customers and consumers more widely. It’s part of our ambition to create a sustainable future for our customers, colleagues and communities – what we call our ‘Shared Prosperity Plan’.
Our national advice business is doing all it can to ensure our ongoing service. For our existing clients we have put in place a suite of measures to ensure that we can continue to provide advice to our clients on a remote basis, including video and telephone, and this is working well.
But we need to go further and ensure we are reaching as many people as possible. We know there are millions of people in the UK who would benefit from having financial advice. In fact 46% of UK adults report low knowledge of financial matters.
However, despite this need not all of these people are able to access face to face advice, perhaps because of where they live, or feeling uncomfortable with the intimacy of a face to face conversation in their home.
So we have fast tracked our plans to develop our telephone based advice team so that we can provide quality financial advice to a broader range of people. This includes those who previously may have thought advice was not for them or who weren’t sure if they would be able to access the benefits that professional advice has to offer.
The telephone-based team delivers a full financial planning service including advice on mortgages, protection, investment and pensions. It means that clients who need advice but do not want, or do not require, face to face advice can get the help they need.
Launched earlier this year, the telephone financial planning service is now fully operational with five advisers and plans to expand shortly with the recruitment of two more. The team has six support staff, made up of paraplanners, admin backup and appointment makers.
Although a relatively new operation, this team already has around 2,000 clients, with average customer assets of around £25,000.
Right now anxiety is high as we worry about ourselves and our loved ones. So it is vital to ensure we are keeping an eye on our wellbeing, including our financial wellbeing. Resilience is important now more than ever and a financial plan can go a long way in building that resilience.