The Openwork Partnership says its advisors estimate around one in eight clients have suffered financial damage during the pandemic.
Research into the impact of the pandemic was carried out nationwide by the Swindon-based organisation, which is one of the UK’s largest and longest established financial advice and investment networks.
Advisers on average believe 12 percent of their clients have taken a financial hit because of the pandemic, with just eight percent saying none of their clients have been adversely impacted.
Mike Morrow, Chief Commercial Officer at The Openwork Partnership, said: “Its been a tough year financially for millions of people despite unprecedented levels of Government help, and advisers are seeing the impact on the ground.
“Of course, many people have benefited financially during the crisis, with more money going into savings, but one in eight clients on average suffering losses is bad news and particularly so when people are taking money out of long-term investments to keep going in the short-term.
“The value of financial advice and financial advisers will be very important as the UK starts to recover from the financial impact of the crisis, demonstrating how vital advice is and the role it plays in what are very personal situations.”
The biggest issue advisers have seen is clients stopping saving or investing during the pandemic – 48 percent of advisers say they have clients who have done that – while 32 percent say they have clients who have run down savings during the pandemic.
A total of 19 percent of advisers say they have clients who have taken money out of pension funds to tide them over during the crisis, while 31 percent of advisers say they have clients who have taken tax-free lump sums from pensions earlier than planned.
The study also found that around 27 percent of advisers say clients have sold investments, while five percent say clients have sold buy-to-lets and four percent say clients have downsized to smaller homes.
Around 41 percent of advisers say they have seen a rise in clients taking money out of investments to help themselves or family members.
The Openwork Partnership has more than 4,300 financial advisers across the UK and operates as a directly authorised, multi-panel distribution network. Its new website - www.theopenworkpartnership.com - includes an interactive map enabling more clients to access support from the network.