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Butterfield Mortgages' Clients Shun Risk, Crave Face-To-Face Advisor Contact

Jackie Bennion

8 December 2020

Fresh research from examining how UK investors have managed their wealth this year found that half have seen their portfolios fall; a third have moved money from high-risk to low-risk assets; and nearly two-thirds are planning to prioritize low-risk assets in 2021.

In a year where hanging on to clients, and informing and reassuring them, has preoccupied wealth managers, Butterfield's November poll of 900 UK investors with over £10,000 invested (excluding primary property, pensions, savings and SIPPs) showed that 28 per cent of them have changed providers this year due to poor service caused by COVID disruptions. It also found that roughly half (47 per cent) of investors were saying that they are not planning to make any significant investment decisions until they can meet their advisors face to face.

In a “whirlwind year” for investors, “clearly, the volatility and uncertainty caused by the pandemic has meant investors are favouring security over returns by looking to safe haven assets,” Alpa Bhakta, CEO of BML, said.

“Our research shows this strategy is likely to continue in 2021. With the government’s recent Spending Review highlighting the vast economic repercussions of COVID-19, it is clear why investors are hesitant and not planning to make major decisions until there is greater certainty," Bhakta added.

The London-based prime property mortgage provider mostly serves UK and international HNWIs and is part of the Butterfield Group and Bermuda-based parent banking operation.