A new report from non-major bank ING
Direct has put paid to any assumptions that younger generations prefer digital communication via electronic means, and actually want a face-to-face relationship when it comes to seeking financial advice.
The study, which surveyed 1,000 people between the ages of 22 and 52, found that while less than 5% of Generation X or Y currently have a financial advisor, these demographics do recognise the importance of such advice, with more than half saying they will seek advice in the future.
Mark Woolnough, Head of Third Party Distribution at ING
Direct, said, “Relationships have always been the cornerstone of successful and sustainable advice partnerships and it’s refreshing to see that the more digitally-savvy younger Australians recognise the value of face-to-face financial advice.
“This shows that while there is a place for online solutions, they should complement personal advice relationships and not be at their expense.”
For Sydney mortgage broker Graeme Salt of Origin Finance, the research bears out the fact that trust and transparency are still the overriding factors in the relationship between broker and client.
He told Australian Broker
, “People will only do business with people they trust and it is difficult to build trust via a Twitter feed. Sure, digital communication is effective, but it must be built on solid foundations that can only be built via face-face communication.”
Salt added that Origin’s business remains “predominantly Generation X but clearly Generation Y is coming through”.
However, as Woolnough suggests, digital channels are still vital to a broker both sustaining and procuring business.
“Facebook is no longer the preserve of pimply 14-year-olds,” said Salt. “I use social media many times a day and have learnt that there are heaps of middle-aged professionals posting photographs of their kids. Social media is a perfect medium to reiterate to them what services you offer, backing up real human communication.”