Holley Holland Survey Reveals Strong Demand for Single, Real-Time View of Personal Finances
London, UK, 02 October 2013: Many people today have such a complex web of personal financial services providers that it is difficult to get an overall picture of their current situation at any given time, reveals a new survey from Holley Holland. The survey, which polled more than 2,000 adults across the UK, found that a significant 44% deal with three or more providers such as banks and mortgage, pension and life insurance companies. Some respondents (7%) need to balance information from seven or more organisations to get a complete picture of their current financial status.
This situation is leading to demand for a more integrated model, enabling individuals to access (on demand) a 360° view of their finances online in real-time. More than 40% of the sample said that having access to an online portal to view all their financial assets and liabilities in one place would help them to plan and make better financial decisions, while fewer than three in ten said it would not. Young people were the most enthusiastic, with 57% of those aged 25-30 supporting the idea compared to just 22% against.
“People today demand immediate access to consumer goods and services online and increasingly expect the same when it comes to their finances,” says Andrew Holley, partner, Holley Holland. “In response, providers have been complacent for too long about this.”
“Banks and other financial institutions are realising that they need to change, but most currently don’t have the right technology in place to deliver,” he continues. “So, it is the IT backbone that will need to improve, if providers are going to be able to provide the kinds of service people increasingly want.”
A significant proportion – 15% of the sample - said they would be prepared to pay for the service. Again, enthusiasm is much higher amongst younger people, with 27% of 25-30 year olds and 24% of 18-24 year olds saying they would be prepared to pay.
Viewing personal finances online rather than through paper-based statements is favoured by all age groups. In fact, a greater percentage of the 65+ age range (58%) opted for it as their preferred method of accessing a view of their personal finances than 18-24 year-olds (54%). Real-time access to up-to-date information was referenced as the top benefit of online access to personal finances, cited by 64% of the sample.
“Many people these days struggle to see the bigger picture,” adds Holley. “Financial providers are not helping. Few people receive financial updates more than once a month and 18% of those surveyed said they received them either annually or never at all. As a result, it’s difficult for anyone to get a comprehensive, up-to-the-minute picture of their finances.”
The survey also showed some public interest in receiving recommendations on alternative financial products of a similar composition but, perhaps, at a more competitive price. Significantly fewer than half of the sample (43%) dismissed the idea out of hand. Again, younger people were most receptive to the option, with 42% of 25-30 year-olds saying this would be useful.
“Young people are used to this kind of approach and they find it useful because they know it is tailored to them, opening up the possibility in turn for providers to engage with them and tie them in to this kind of service over a lifetime. This strengthening of the “service” component of a financial proposition where the “product” element may have become a level playing field among providers is a real opportunity for financial services firms to differentiate themselves,” concludes Holley.
About Holley Holland
Holley Holland is a boutique consultancy specialising in the financial services industry, acting as a business transformation enabler to help organisations evaluate, address and achieve their professional objectives. From advisory services to the execution of large scale and complex transformation programmes, Holley Holland re-architects and simplifies business processes, enabling a faster time to market. The company’s senior partners have high-profile practical experience of international field work and have extensive expertise across financial services, investment banking, asset management and life assurance: www.holleyholland.com
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