61% of Britons think discussing financial matters is more important that seeking health advice (58%), according to new research from the Nationwide Building Society.
74% of people are happy to do simple things like transferring money and opening an account online (59%), but when it comes to big life decisions, 70% still feel that the need to see the whites of someone’s eyes.
For more complicated life decisions, only 19% would be happy to get online pension advice, only 23% would be willing to invest money in stocks and shares and only 24% would apply for a mortgage without talking to someone.
The Nationwide said this is perhaps why 95% of people surveyed believe it is important for businesses to offer the option of face-to-face service with half (50%) preferring the option of having a branch on the high street. For many, having the chance to ask questions (74%) as well as feeling that you gain a better understanding through a face to face explanation (64%) are the main benefits people get from this level of interaction.
Graeme Hughes from group distribution at Nationwide, said: “When it comes to planning for our future, we want to know that that we’re making the right decisions to make the most of our money. Digital technology has revolutionised many everyday tasks, especially managing our finances. But as much as technology provides welcome shortcuts, people remain the backbone of delivering service.
“This is why we have committed to invest £500 million in our branches over five years, with new layouts and designs and pioneering services such as Nationwide Now which gives people access to a range of services more quickly and more conveniently. This will, alongside our continued investment in digital services, continue to provide choice, convenience and access for our members, helping them to get long term value for their financial needs.”