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1 in 4 clients have cut back on saving plans – PFS

More than 1 in 4 financial advisers (27%) taking part in a PFS straw poll said clients had reduced the amount they were saving and spending due to concerns about the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.

In contrast, 29% of advisers said clients were saving more cash during lockdown.

The PFS released the results of the poll, carried out in September, to support World Financial Planning Today today.

The PFS said its poll suggested many clients of financial advisers were sticking to their plans – although the PFS is concerned about a seeming recent spike in enquiries about pension transfer advice.

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Overall the poll showed despite the upheaval four out of 10 financial advisers stated that their clients had made “no change” to their financial plans due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Keith Richards, chief executive of the Personal Finance Society, said: “Today (7 October) is World Financial Planning Day and the fact four out of 10 advisers have yet to see the need to adapt or change client plans is testament to the value and importance of professional support.

“We still find ourselves very much in the midst of this pandemic, with more financial impacts to come for many individuals. This month spells the end of the government’s furlough scheme, which has already resulted in businesses consulting on redundancies and some will struggle to survive until Christmas.

“While we welcomed the Chancellor’ Winter package and the measures to protect viable jobs, many economists agree they have not come soon enough, nor do they go far enough to protect the many millions who will be hurting now. Unfortunately, this means we can only expect personal finances to be hit harder and for unemployment to continue to increase.

“The value of professional financial advice could not be overestimated during this period, nor in the months ahead. The financial situation of many could be bleak in the months to come and we have already alerted the FCA and The Pensions Regulator to a spike in requests for pension transfer advice.

“We have also urged members to remain vigilant and continue to reach out to clients to ensure they are swiftly updated on any change in financial circumstances so they can help them throughout this crisis.”

• 45 members of the PFS took part in the poll on social media in September.

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