Saving sufficiently is a vital part of financial management, and advice can make all the difference to your eventual savings pot. In fact, research has found that a lack of advice can mean people actually save less, with savers putting aside £1,600 less than they'd like to every year as they don't have the necessary support.
Lack of advice = lack of saving
The research, from the Nottingham Building Society (The Nottingham), shows that more than one in five of surveyed adults are saving less because they're unable to access suitable financial advice on how to properly handle their money – 21% believe they're not saving as much as they could, a figure which rises to 30% of under-35s, compared with just 12% of over-55s, highlighting that it's younger savers who need the most support with their finances.
It could make a big difference, too, with those savers saying that they'd be able to put aside an average of £134 extra a month if they could access support, which equates to more than £1,600 in lost savings over the year. Given that around 20% say they have struggled to access advice on savings in the past two years, and another 11% have struggled to get advice on investments, this advice gap is clearly an issue, and it could be made worse by branch closures.
The survey went on to reveal that 73% of respondents would consider becoming a customer of a bank or building society that provided advice services, showing that face-to-face contact is still viewed as essential, despite the rise of online and mobile banking. However, that same rise is having an impact on the number of branches actually available, which could go some way to explaining the difficulty so many savers have face in accessing advice.
This could become even more damaging going forwards, as the first base rate rise in 10 years combined with rising inflation is making the need for advice more important, said the mutual. Chief executive David Marlow commented: "It is very worrying that people are missing out on saving and investing simply because they struggle to get independent advice.
"The recent rate rise and increased competition among providers means there is more choice than ever, but at the same time people clearly need more help to decide what is right for them and their individual circumstances."
What can you do?
If you're concerned about making the most of your money, seeking independent financial advice is a must, but so is finding the ideal home for your cash. After all, getting the best possible returns all depends on getting the best savings rate, so check out our Best Buys or use our savings search tool to get started, and see if you can build your pot.
Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.