Strong consumer take-up of free 'taster' sessions and associated online activity during Financial Planning Week has highlighted the demand for guidance, the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) said.
The financial services professional body brought back its free financial planning taster sessions for Financial Planning Week 2017, which ran from 8 to 12 May.
Financial planning firms were encouraged to offer the one-hour sessions, normally worth up to £500, which the CISI hoped would show financial guidance is for everyone and not just the wealthy.
According to the CISI, more than 80 financial planning firms supported the initiative. Around 50 of the firms offered free sessions, while another 30 used CISI's online 'toolkit' to help spread the word via their digital channels.
Alongside the success of the sessions, CISI received more than 300 calls and 600 emails from consumers, with many more reportedly sent directly to firms.
The professional body also saw a 73% increase in Twitter followers for its @WayfinderCISI page, which promotes its directory for financial planners. The Financial Planning Week hashtag - #FPWUK - received more than 900,000 mentions.
CISI also introduced Facebook Live broadcasting into its initiatives this year, which received more than 800 views and 167 reactions, comments and shares. The body reported the broadcasts reached a total of 7,550 people.
The week's activities also received national media support with articles and broadcasts from the BBC, Financial Times, Daily Mail, The Sun and The Times, as well as trade press support including articles in Professional Adviser.
CISI deputy head of financial planning Jacqueline Lockie (pictured) said: "Families, retirees, millennials, students, divorcees, newlyweds - we all need help with managing money at every stage of our lives.
"Trust and professionalism go hand-in-hand with financial guidance and professionals are keen to help consumers understand that engaging with a qualified planner is the key."
She added: "My early discussions with financial planners indicate their phones and emails were red-hot with consumer enquiries from a wide national demographic.
"Due to the volume of appointments made last week we appreciate many firms will be seeing these new consumers and keeping their promise to offer a free hour of planning advice over the coming weeks."
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