Poor advice hits 25 million

18 June 2004
A new report has revealed that 55 per cent of British adults, 25 million people, have regretted purchasing a particular financial product.

MINTEL, the author of the report found that many are unhappy with a financial service they have signed up for and poor advice appears to be to blame.

Many also seem to be getting misled, with as many as one in seven complaining that they actually have been.

As a result a great number of consumers believe that the quality of financial advice they receives was poor.

Senior finance editor at MINTEL, Paul Davies says: "In many ways, such a high response rate is perhaps not too surprising given the spate of high-profile mis-selling scandals that have dogged the financial services industry in recent years."

He adds: "These have all severely tarnished the industry's image and left millions of customers dissatisfied with the performance of their products."

Adults aged between 35 and 44 years old are the hardest hit, with more than one in five consumers of this age citing both poor and misleading advice as the reason for regretting their purchase.

It follows findings that three-quarters of adults do not understand how complex financial products, such as investments and pensions, actually work.

This has resulted in many consumers having to develop their own financial knowledge, with three-quarters learning through trial and error.

Mr Davies concludes: "This level of apparent bewilderment would appear to be a sad indictment of government and financial services industry efforts at increasing the level of financial literacy."