ASIC report highlights lack of consumer trust in financial advice industry

The barriers faced by consumers when considering financial advice have been highlighted in new research published by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC).

The report, titled Financial advice: What consumers really think, presents independent research into consumer experiences of, and attitudes towards, financial advice.

The study analysed an online sample of 2545 people (weighted to reflect the overall population), and focused on the overall use of financial advisers, motivators and barriers to seeking personal advice, and consumer attitudes towards the financial advice industry.

Just 27 per cent of the sample had received financial advice in the past, and only 12 per cent had received advice in the past 12 months.

Managing investments such as shares and managed funds, retirement income planning, growing superannuation, and budgeting or cash flow management, represented the most common reasons for which financial advice was sought. 

‘While Australians believe financial advisers can offer significant expertise on financial matters, our research shows that many don’t seek advice because they are put off by factors such as high costs, significant distrust of the industry and a perception that financial advice is only for the wealthy’ said ASIC commissioner Danielle Press.

The research shows that, while 41 per cent of Australians intend to get personal financial advice in the future, many of them will not proceed because of these perceived barriers.

‘Financial advisers have an important role to play in helping consumers improve their financial position, and there is a real opportunity for the advice industry to rebuild that trust by reorienting itself and putting consumers at the heart of its services… it is imperative that people wanting advice when making critical financial decisions are able to access high quality advice and equally, feel confident that the advice is in their best interests’ Ms Press concluded. 

Asic Financial Advice

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