Consumers looking to financial providers for support during COVID-19
Sydney April 20, 2020
Consumers are looking to their financial service providers for reassurance during the COVID-19 outbreak, according to new research from life insurer MetLife Australia.
MetLife Australia’s COVID-19 Insights research, which looked into the behaviors of Australians to understand how the financial services sector can better support them at this time, shows that superannuation fund members and investment holders want reassurance that their funds are able to navigate this period of volatility.
While 50% of respondents said they had received COVID-19 related communications from financial providers, 26% of participants claim they have checked their superannuation balance. This increases if they have a financial advisor: 30% have checked their superannuation balance, and 11% have changed their investment strategy.
Chesne Stafford, Chief Customer and Marketing Officer at MetLife Australia said that superfunds and financial advisers have a significant role to play in helping ease the financial stress of their customers.
“According to our research, 58% of people surveyed claim that COVID-19 has already directly impacted their financial situation, and in the face of financial uncertainty and fluctuating markets, there is an important opportunity for financial providers to step up and help their customers,” Ms Stafford said.
The research found that transparent communications, including what options are available, reassurance that fund managers have experience in navigating through a financial downturn, and that they are doing as much as they can to manage the current situation, are top requirements from superfund members and investors alike.
Investors also want greater transparency with regards to investment returns and where funds are currently being invested; clear guidance with regards to their investment options, accessing funds early, rolling over funds, available tools and financial advice consultations; and easy options for contacting their fund managers via multiple channels.
“Providing regular communications across a variety of channel options, transparent information on COVID-19-related topics and the reassurance of a long-term investment view are all simple steps that financial providers can take to relieve their customers’ stress and support their overall wellbeing. Alleviating financial stress can be a crucial factor to reducing mental health related issues. By going the extra mile, financial providers can develop deeper relationships with their customer base that will last well beyond the crisis,” Ms Stafford said.
Read the top five Insights.
+61 (0)411 893 890