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Half of advisers have seen clients defer their retirement as a result of income losses triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, Schroders has found.

According to the firm’s latest survey of UK financial advisers, loss of income due to the sharp market downturns in March driven by the Covid-19 outbreak has forced many clients to reconsider their plans for later life.

The survey of 63 advisers found almost half had seen their clients delay their retirement as a result of reduced capital.

It comes as the vast majority of advisers, at 95 per cent, predicted the virus outbreak would cause a major global recession, although 66 per cent had faith that fiscal and monetary policy could mitigate some of the fallout.

Doug Abbott, head of UK intermediary at Schroders, said the Covid-19 pandemic had already brought about “profound changes” to the investment community.

Mr Abbott added: “Capital preservation becomes understandably a key priority for investors who now favour an intensified mode of interaction with advisers along with a more active style of investing.

“The actual impact of the pandemic on investor sentiment remains, however, surprisingly mild according to our survey, even if retirement plans for half of advisers’ clients seem delayed for now.”

The survey pointed to the benefit of financial advice, with 100 per cent of the advisers agreeing their clients had been broadly understanding about the impact of the pandemic on their portfolios.

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