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Australian investors’ trust in financial services industry surges

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The results of a global survey have been released.

One in two Australian retail investors (45 per cent) trust the financial services industry, a new survey by the CFA Institute has revealed.

The study also found that globally, trust in financial services has reached an all time high with 86 per cent of institutional investors saying they have “high” or “very high trust”; up from 65 per cent in 2020.

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Specifically with retail investors, trust levels increased from 46 per cent to 60 per cent and were highest in Australia, the US and Singapore.

The five key factors which saw investor trust surge included the strong share market performance, fee compression on investment products, the greater level of technology-enabled transparency on investment products, greater investor access to investment markets and new personalised investment products such as ones that consider ESG factors.

“The highs we’re now seeing in investor trust are a cause for optimism, helped on by strong share markets and falling fees, but the challenge is sustaining trust moving ahead given greater levels of share market volatility,” CFA Societies Australia CEO Lisa Carroll said.

“In Australia too, trust has jumped significantly since 2020 when just one in four investors trusted the financial services industry, with the Hayne Royal Commission eroding confidence in the asset management industry given the significant amount of negative news coverage at the time. 

“Looking ahead, as interest rates rise this year and returns fall on asset classes such as equities and property compared to previous years, investment product providers and financial advisors may be more challenged maintaining trust levels with their clients. Technology, the alignment of values, and personal connections with investors can, however, help.”

The survey also noted that Australian retail investors with a financial adviser are more trusting of the industry (58 per cent), compared to less than half without an adviser (39 per cent) and agree that having an adviser adds value.

However, the research found that Australian retail investors are still less trusting of advising than their global peers.

“Most investors followed the advice of their adviser during the March 2020 downturn. Among those who were advised to significantly or slightly reduce risk/exposure to the market, 88 per cent and 77 per cent reduced risk, respectively,” Ms Carroll explained.

“Among those who were advised to significantly or slightly increase risk/exposure to the market, 75 per cent and 64 per cent did increase risk as advised. However, 21 per cent and 24 per cent reduced risk, respectively.

“Overall, having a trusted adviser to inform client decisions in stressed market conditions helped investors stick to their long-term investment plans.”

The biggest reasons that Australian retail investors would leave an adviser would be due to underperformance (51 per cent), a lack of responsiveness (37 per cent), inadequate data security (35 per cent) and high fees (35 per cent).

Australian investors’ trust in financial services industry surges

The results of a global survey have been released.

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Neil Griffiths

Neil Griffiths

Neil is the Deputy Editor of the wealth titles, including ifa and InvestorDaily. 

Neil is also the host of the ifa show podcast.

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