UK consumers give backing to IFAs

Almost one in five Britons has sought advice from an Independent Financial Adviser in the last five years, new research has found.

A survey of 2,000 adults by the website Unbiased.co.uk, which helps consumers find professional advisers, revealed that 19 per cent had consulted an IFA in that time, with the figure rising to almost a quarter (24 per cent) of the nation’s over-60s. Overall, 29 per cent of Britons said they had sought IFA advice during their lifetime.

Self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs), annuity purchases and inheritance tax (IHT) planning were the areas where consumers were least confident of proceeding without professional advice according to the results of the survey, published on 11 November.

More than half said they would be confident about arranging a residential mortgage without the help of an adviser, but the numbers who felt they could go it alone fell dramatically when it came to SIPPs, annuity purchases and IHT, to 24 per cent, 27 per cent and 27 per cent respectively.

Karen Barrett, chief executive of unbiased.co.uk, said: “It’s encouraging to see that for the past five years, UK consumers have continued to reach out to advisers for help and guidance.

“Our research has highlighted there are times when professional financial advice is essential in making the life decisions that can have a considerable financial impact.

“When it comes to SIPPs, annuity purchases and inheritance tax planning, consumers clearly feel least confident in making DIY decisions. These are areas where speaking to a financial adviser can make sure you make the right choices for your specific life goals.”

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