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Business owners warm to professional advice

Despite negative mainstream media coverage of the financial advice industry, three in 10 business owners intend to see an adviser in the next 12 months, according to the Bibby Barometer.

The index – compiled off the back of a survey of 620 small to medium-sized business owners conducted by debtor finance firm Bibby Financial Services – found that while only one in three is currently seeking professional advice, an additional three in 10 survey respondents intend to “engage an adviser in the next 12 months”.

Managing director of Bibby Financial Services Australia and New Zealand, Mark Cleaver, said the barometer’s results point to an opportunity for financial advisers, especially for clients in family-owned and micro-businesses.

“Business advice is less commonly sought by micro-businesses. However, they are more likely than larger businesses to receive advice on other areas, particularly tax, investing, superannuation and family financial matters,” Mr Cleaver said.

“Family-owned businesses are more likely to use a financial adviser (36 per cent versus 27 per cent), possibly reflecting the fact that the families have more of their financial future tied up in their businesses and are therefore more ready to seek advice.”

Respondents from New South Wales were found to have the “greatest intention” to use an adviser in the future (33 per cent), while 47 per cent of Western Australian respondents are likely to use a financial adviser already.

However, one in five indicated they have no intention of using a financial planner at all, with Mr Cleaver pointing to scandals in the advice industry as a possible factor.


“The financial advice industry has gone through a huge shake-up in recent times. Press coverage of banks giving poor financial advice could well have deterred many businesses from seeking financial advice,” Mr Cleaver said.

“At Bibby, we encourage businesses to take independent advice from qualified and well-respected financial advisers. In our experience, businesses that seek financial advice make better decisions and are better placed to manage their cash flow.”