Almost 40% of UK adults would "never consider" using a professional financial adviser, a study commissioned by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) suggests.
A survey of 2,026 over-18s found that 38% would never think to seek regulated advice. This was a higher proportion of those who would consider professional guidance: some 32% of respondents.
From the same sample, 17% are currently taking financial advice, while 13% said they did not know what they would do.
The study conducted via the TNS CAPI Omnibus also suggests many consumers continue to be believe financial advice is free - including from those who are currently receiving it.
When asked how, if at all, people pay for advice, a third (33%) said they did not think there was a charge, while 29% said they believed there would be an upfront fee. A further 14% thought a monthly or annual payment was likely, while the remainder said they were unsure.
Of those who said they believed advice was free, almost half (49%) said they are currently receiving regulated financial guidance.
The FSA shared the figures with the Independent newspaper, and provided a quote:
"In response to the survey's findings, the FSA wants to put the record straight by pointing out that advice has never been free.
"Consumers have always paid for the advice they receive, but they often didn't understand the mechanism through which they paid for it."
It added: "It has been feared that the policy of chasing sales and paying 'advisers' through commission linked to those sales has played a role in a string of scandals, including the mis-selling of personal pensions, endowment mortgages and split capital investment trusts by financial advisers."
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