23 September 2016

Wealth for life: Welcome to the age of the customer

We are seeing a lot of commentary about how the financial services industry is evolving in response to a raft of changes imposed on it in recent years: new regulations, the rise of automated financial advice and more scrutiny from governing bodies.

But perhaps the greatest influence isn't being fully recognised - changing customer expectations.

According to a PwC report, 2016 Wealth Management Trends, there is a lack of trust in wider investment advice services. Customers now look for real-time, effortless experiences and they want to feel supported, in control and informed.

Time to pass it on?

Investors want to find ways to make their money work hard and younger people, in particular, realise it’s not as easy as it once was to get ahead - they know they are on track to be less wealthy at various times of their lives than earlier generations, according to a 2016 Institute for Fiscal Studies study released this year.

Attitudes among younger people may be changing because previous generations are seen to have ‘had it easier’, according to a 2015 Slater and Gordon survey. This is fueling an assumption that wealth in the family will be passed on. Receiving an inheritance is, the report shows, something that 40% of Britons now expect, whether it is to fund a little of life’s luxuries or a house deposit.

Revealing the value of financial advice

The PwC report has found that Millennials, or people aged between 18 and 34 years, have grown up with the internet and are used to communicating through technology interfaces. They are, as a result, much more comfortable with the idea of using new online advice models, driven by better data analytics tools.

Of those surveyed, 46% of respondents in the US believe what are now referred to as ‘robo advisers’ will be a critical tool for engaging Millennials into the future. Another 70% believe new technology such as mobile and social media will continue to transform the industry.

Advice customers want

Nationwide sees its role as being of particular importance, because we're making our Financial Planning Service more accessible to our customers, according to Richard Gray, Nationwide Financial Planning Director.

“We know everyone’s life journey is different," he says, "So we're focusing on combining the benefits of technology and a personalised approach. We've done that by introducing our Nationwide Now service which allows customers to gain access to investment advice at their local branch using video conferencing facilities.”

“Our customers range hugely, from people who have an active interest in the stock market and have a good understanding of their investments to customers who may be nearing the end of their working life and needing help to plan their retirement or people who have received an inheritance from a family member. These are people who may need accessible guidance on the risks and benefits of investing over, say, placing the money in a deposit account.”

“We want to make it easy for people who qualify for our Financial Planning Service to access advice, no matter where they live or what their level of knowledge is.”

The value of your investment can go down as well as up so you may get back less than you originally invested.

Important information

Investments through Nationwide are provided by Legal and General.

As part of Nationwide’s financial planning service, your Financial Planning Manager will advise and make a recommendation for you after assessing your needs. Please note, we offer restricted advice on a limited range of carefully selected products available through Legal & General. You may ask us for a list of the companies and products we offer advice on.

Nationwide’s financial planning service is available to those who have (joint/single) £50,000 or more in savings and/or those who earn (joint/single) £50,000 or more per year.

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