33% of adults are uncertain about where to access financial advice, with women (35%) slightly more uncertain than men (30%), according to new reach for Openwork.
In addition, 51% of 18-24-year olds do not know where to get advice.
Despite a growing shift towards increased use of technology the overwhelming majority of adults (75%) would prefer face to face interaction with a financial adviser, the research found.
67% of adults agree that robo-advice might not be entirely appropriate for their specific needs, with both 18-24-year olds (71%) and 55-64-year olds (73%) saying that they are unsure about its benefits.
Access to financial advice is being squeezed despite the focus by advice firms on expanding their networks – data shows 3,312 bank and building society branches closed their doors between January 2015 and August 2019, with an average of 55 closures a month.
Openwork says its research shows a real need for financial advice, with more than a quarter of all adults – 27% of people – saying that they don’t know if they are on target with retirement saving.
Mike Morrow, wealth & platform director at Openwork, said: “Despite the growing demand for expert financial advice it is worrying to think that as we enter a new decade so many people don’t know where to access financial advice.
“There are many helpful online tools such as The Pension Advisory Service, The Money Advice Service and Unbiased.co.uk, however much more needs to be done by the industry and the Government to help people access the financial advice they both need and deserve.
“At Openwork, expanding access to face to face financial advice is a strategic priority and, in order to meet the growing demand, we will continue to recruit and train more advisers. Our market-leading Openwork Academy, which has enrolled more than 400 candidates since launching in October 2014, will be critical in meeting this strategic ambition and we look forward to welcoming more recruits over the next 12 months.”