Over a quarter (26%) of Britons have felt pressured by an adviser into purchasing a financial product they did not understand, according to the survey of more than 2,000 UK adults by My Pension Expert.
A further 13% said they had lost money after following the recommendations of a financial adviser within the past year.
Three quarters of those surveyed said financial advice was too expensive.
Only 38% of those surveyed said they have sought independent financial advice at some point in their lives. Instead, 65% said they prefer to use free online advance, while 76% said they feel confident enough to make their own financial decisions.
Over three quarters (78%) said would be more inclined to seek advice from independent financial advisers if harsher punishments were introduced for advisers engaging in unethical practices. A similar number (76%) called for greater transparency on how advisers calculate their fees.
Andrew Megson, executive chairman of My Pension Expert, said: “The lack of trust in independent financial advisers is alarming – it is a wakeup call that the financial services industry cannot afford to ignore.
“The industry must act to change public perception of financial advice. IFAs must be more transparent, use plain language and any untoward practices have to be punished. Otherwise, Britons will only become more reluctant to seek financial advice.”