New consumer research of more than 1,000 adults for financial advice network Openwork suggests that while accessing advice online has never been easier most consumers prefer seeing a human adviser.
Just over two thirds (67%) of adults agreed that robo-advice might not be what they need with both 18-24-year olds (71%) and 55-64-year olds (73%) saying that they were unsure about its benefits.
However, while the survey found most people want advice face to face it also found that a third of savers have no idea where to go for financial advice.
About a third (33%) of adults are uncertain about where to access financial advice, with women (35%) slightly more uncertain than men (30%).
The under-25s were more in the dark. Just over half (51%) of 18-24-year olds do not know where to get advice.
Openwork says that access to financial advice is being squeezed despite advice firms expanding. It says data shows 3,312 bank and building society branches closed their doors between January 2015 and August 2019, with an average of 55 closures a month.
Openwork’s research found this came at the same time as a “real need for financial advice” with more than a quarter of all adults – 27% of people – saying that they did not know if they were on target with retirement saving.
Mike Morrow, wealth & platform director at Openwork, said: “Despite the growing demand for expert financial advice it is worrying to think that as we enter a new decade so many people don’t know where to access financial advice.
Openwork, which has more than 3,900 financial advisers, plans to recruit more. It operates as a directly authorised, multi-panel distribution network and has expanded its Openwork training academy.