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Clients prefer face-to-face advice: survey

Consumers prefer the option of receiving face-to-face financial advice over interacting with an adviser over the phone or internet, research by State Super Financial Services has found.

A survey conducted by State Super FS found a “vast majority” of the 2,500 public sector employees surveyed thought that in order to establish trust with an adviser, a “face-to-face initial meeting was preferred”.

“However, once an initial in-person rapport is built, almost half of those surveyed (47 per cent) were comfortable using other channels such as phone and internet to maintain their relationship,” a State Super FS statement said.

State Super FS general manager Sean Bradley said the research showed the initial formation of trust and demonstration of value are “critical in establishing relationships”.

“While face-to-face remains supreme, there is strong customer demand for flexibility in the channels clients use to maintain contact with their financial planner,” Mr Bradley said.

According to the research, the “clear standout barriers” to gaining greater financial control are a lack of knowledge and experience, uncertainty about legislation and the economy, he said.


“Half of those surveyed said having a financial plan in place would give them greater confidence, however, we know that significantly fewer seek advice,” Mr Bradley said.

At least 20 per cent of Australia’s $1.8 trillion superannuation pool comprises public sector employees, he said.

“Like all employees, those in the public sector will benefit from advice the earlier they seek and receive it,” Mr Bradley said.

“However, it’s important in so doing they seek it from a financial planner who understands their special superannuation environment."