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Why Fidelity thinks RDR could price out 43 million from advice

Up to 43 million people in the UK will be unwilling or unable to access advice in the retail distribution review world, according to research by Fidelity.

Up to 43 million people in the UK will be unwilling or unable to access advice in the retail distribution review (RDR) world, according to research by Fidelity.

The study found that only 14%, or 7 million, people, said they would pay a fee for advice.

The research into what Fidelity has dubbed the ‘guidance gap’ is based on three surveys conducted by YouGov, the largest of which was of 2,060 consumers. The provider also surveyed 521 investors, and 99 financial advisers.

Fidelity defined the guidance gap as : ‘Those people that will be without professional financial advice in the post-RDR world and that will not have the confidence to make their own decisions in the absence of professional advice but who, nevertheless, will be in need of financial guidance in order to maintain the health of their personal finances.’

It said the 43 million people who fell into this category had around £440 billion of investable wealth.

The research showed that the average sum of assets for an investor to be commercially viable to an adviser was £61,000 (75% of those asked had less than this), while investors who said they would not pay for advice had an average of £43,000 of investable savings.

Mark Till, head of personal investing at Fidelity Worldwide Investment, said: ‘The RDR has very positive motives but it also creates unintended consequences for the consumer. Without access to the information they need to help them make decisions, there is a risk savers could make the wrong choices or, worse, be put off saving altogether.

‘However, the picture is not all bad; our research identifies an appetite for guidance among both investors and non-investors who want to be pointed in the right direction without giving up control of their financial decisions.

‘This is a watershed moment for savers who have the chance to become more engaged and take responsibility for their financial future. However they can only do so if the industry steps up to the mark and provides its customers with the tools and information to guide them towards the right financial decisions.’

Click through to see the size and shape of the guidance gap.

The full paper can be viewed here.