31% of advisers report increase in client enquiries

Thirty-one per cent of financial advisers have seen an increase in client enquiries above normal levels since the COVID-19 pandemic begun, according to new research from Aegon.

The pension expert suggested the most common client enquiry was a review of investment performance, with almost two-thirds (64%) of advisers having been contacted about this since the beginning of the crisis.

Reviewing financial plans in light of current market volatility was also a common request, with half (49%) of advisers saying they had received enquires on this.

The research, based on the results of a survey amongst 205 financial advisers in May, also looked at whether advisers have seen a change in the way their clients think about investments and their relationship with money. Half of advisers (48%) said clients have seen the current market performance as an opportunity to invest for the future.

However, another 31% said their clients are more fearful and reluctant to invest in the medium-term, while a further 23% indicated that their clients have concerns about locking money away.

“There are lots of reasons why people seek financial advice and demand is often driven by a change in personal circumstances or influences from the external environment,” Aegon pensions director, Steven Cameron, commented.

“For many, the coronavirus pandemic ticks both these boxes. Stock market turbulence following the onset of the coronavirus has no doubt been concerning for individuals, and with some facing disruption to employment, advisers can play a hugely important role in navigating clients through the issues and providing real value in the crisis.

“Without access to advice, there’s a risk people will take panic action that might not be in their best interests and could do significant long-term harm, particularly at important life stages such as retirement.
“While the coronavirus is first and foremost a health crisis, it is also having significant implications on personal finances and the economy. Demand for advice will inevitably remain high as the market reacts to the economic fallout from this global pandemic.”

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