Pulse Check - UK Financial Adviser Survey on Meeting Clients' Needs

Financial Advisory

22 June 2023

Advisory DistributorsClientConsumer DutyFinancial AdvisoryInterestInvestmentsPrivate Market

Expert: Gillian Hepburn, Head of UK Intermediary Solutions, Schroders Facilitator: Helen Clark, Mint Blue Consulting


  1. Wider education for young people is required to understand the benefits of advice and how investing works as a whole


With investments dropping and interest rates increasing, clients are looking at cash investments including 1-year deposit accounts and Cash ISAs which are currently offering a 5% return. Fixed term deposits have reportedly trebled over the past 9 months.

As interest rates and fixed term returns increase, Annuities are coming to fore again however, many younger advisers have never had to discuss these with clients and there is currently a knowledge-gap in this area, around new annuity-based products 

Private Market Investment enquiries are on the increase and in particular Schroders are seeing some new entrants coming into this market trying to deliver solutions to targeted investors (particularly younger) who want to use App-based capability to access these and other alternative investments.

Have invested in IT startups to track how they perform and understand more about new technology coming to the market. However, in the adviser market, Platforms need to identify a way to handle these products and no defined solution to date.

Intergenerational Wealth:
In the current cost of living crisis, grandparents and parents are increasing helping the younger generations with house purchases and day-to-day living costs.

Platforms are seeing higher levels of disinvestments to meet these demands which is a trend that will hopefully reverse again, while inherited monies are increasingly skipping a generation who have already largely paid off their mortgages.

Crypto Investing:
Young people are continuing to invest in crypto - Coinbase and similar - with little understanding about the investment risks involved thinking they can make a quick profit. In some cases they are borrowing the funds to make the investments not realising their investment may decrease or disappear altogether. This is not something generally taught in schools so Schroders and other firms including private banks are starting to offer advice to employee families and their children free of charge. Take up rates are however still slow.

This is a growing area of concern given the levels of intergenerational wealth being transferred to a generation that have no experience of speaking to a financial adviser, or any understanding of their attitude to risk and wider education for young people is required to understand the benefits of advice and how investing works as a whole. Schroders have produced a guide to crypto and digital assets to help advisers engage the next generation on this topic.

Consumer Duty:
Many adviser firms were still preparing for the 31st July deadline and determining that the Price Value is one of the biggest challenges. 

There is a gap between perceived service value and the reality for clients. Firms are working backwards to establish fees and realising that asking clients for a monthly DDM in a high cost of living period is a challenge so need to confirm how this can be handled as services move to a more transactional model.

ChatGPT & AI:
Schroders was an early investor in the ChatGPT technology and has set up its own version, Genie, allowing employees to trial the use and benefits within the firm. Staff have actively engaged with the process and this is driving innovation and ideas for how and where this can be used.

However, this comes with a warning as AI data is only 80% there today and a human 4-eyes check is still required, for example, a bio of one employee (a known industry expert) was auto-created but proved to be totally inaccurate - albeit entertaining to read.

This area is seen as developmental but offers opportunities to create content and remove future admin overheads, e.g. quicker initial report writing.

Key takeaways:

  • AI and ChatGPT is one to watch over the coming months as this continues to be a growth area with impacts (positive and negative) under consideration and monitoring
  • The current economic situation and increased interest rates is reviving the need for products not sold in volume in recent years including Annuities and Bonds