Millennials running UK businesses are better prepared for the future

Our recent Business Spotlight results show that millennials that run businesses are more positive about the short term financial future of their business and feel more prepared for the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) in the longer term, compared to those business decision makers born before 1980.

Although only 11% of business decision makers are born after 1980 so can be categorised as ‘millennials’, they portray a different outlook to their older counterparts. To start with, when it comes to the financial position of their company over the next 12 months, 61% of millennials believe it will improve, compared to just 40% of older business decision makers.

Over half of millennials (56%) feel their business is prepared for the rise of AI and increased automation over the next 10 years, although the majority of these remain cautious, as 52% are only ‘fairly prepared’. In contrast, only just over third (35%) of older age groups feel they are prepared for the consequences, which suggest many businesses have not really considered the implications.

Are millennials more realistic about the potential impact of AI?

According to our data, 1 in 10 (11%) millennials running businesses expect staff numbers to reduce over the next 10 years as a result of AI (compared to just 4% of older decision makers) with a further 23% admitting they don’t yet know the likely impact. Only 61% of them are confident AI will have no impact on the number of staff over the next 12 months, compared to a 79% of the older group (a significantly higher proportion). Interestingly, 12% of these older business decision makers have actually experienced a decline in the number of staff over the last 12 months, compared to just 2% of millennials. Could this already be the impact of increased automation or a symptom a potentially weaker financial position?

Businesses and technology: Helping businesses prepare for the future

There is clearly a need for increased business support to help companies prepare for future technological developments, particularly considering that the majority of business decision makers do not fall into our more prepared millennial group. Small businesses could benefit the most, as being prepared for the rise of AI increases among the larger companies (61% among those with 250+ employees) with only 35% of sole traders and 41% of micro business feeling equipped to deal with this future development.

IFF will soon be launching a report into the use of digital banking and attitudes towards new technology among UK businesses. For more information please contact Georgina Clarke in our financial services team:

Georgina Clarke, Director

E: georgina.clarke@iffresearch.com
M: 07715 961476

Why aren’t consumers open to Open Banking?

The financial services industry sees open banking as an exciting development, bringing new opportunities for providers – both in the banking sector and elsewhere. Consumers will be able to access their bank accounts through specified third-party providers, making transactions, product comparisons and applications much easier and quicker.

What do people think about open banking?

I’ve read several articles recently discussing consumer concern about sharing their data via open banking when it becomes available next year. A recent study by Accenture [1] found that 69% of consumers say they would not share their bank account information with third-party providers. In fact, more than half (53%) say they will never change their existing banking habits and adopt open banking. However, in todays’ world of data security breaches and privacy concerns, perhaps it is not surprising that this direct question about the appeal of sharing banking information with non-banking providers leads to a negative response.

Simplicity and speed are the two features we often hear are important when it comes to banking – and areas that traditional banks are often challenged on. Open banking will deliver these benefits, but despite the bad press banks often receive, it seems consumers claim they will remain faithful to the traditional banks and are reluctant to consider more innovative providers. But do consumers really understand the benefits of open banking and how it will work? A lot more needs to be done to educate the public before we conclude that open banking will not be adopted.

Comparison with digital only banks

Digital only banks have seen considerable growth over the last few years, with new brands entering the market all the time. Appeal has been driven by innovation, where primary access is via a mobile app, accompanied by efficient online support and additional features which make managing money much easier and quicker. Customers tend to be younger so one of the real benefits of Monzo, for example, is the ease in which bills or purchases (e.g. event tickets, domestic items) can be split between friends and housemates. This is accompanied by the benefit of tracking and categorising spend in real time, so the user always has an up-to-date view of what their balance is and what their money has been spent on.

When digital banks enter the market, they are generally unknown brands, yet users have been content with setting up accounts and granting them access to their transactional data. The third parties who will enter the market as a result of open banking are likely to be established brands that people are already sharing information with (albeit less sensitive). However, current take up of digital banks remains low at around 1%.

Will Open Banking attract similar customers to digital banks?

It will be interesting to see how the take up of open banking compares to the take up digital only banks. Will open banking encourage interest from younger consumers, who are perhaps keener to adopt new solutions, in the same way digital banking has?

IFF’s new Fintech Beacon can help you understand more about the needs and motivations of current digital banking users, who may also be a key audience for open banking. For more information please contact Georgina Clarke in our financial services team:

Georgina Clarke, Director

E: georgina.clarke@iffresearch.com
M: 07715 961476

[1] https://newsroom.accenture.com/news/accenture-research-finds-lack-of-trust-in-third-party-providers-creates-major-opportunity-for-banks-as-open-banking-set-to-roll-out-across-europe.htm

High demand, not enough access: The road to growing the UK retail impact investment market

Recent research undertaken by IFF Research, on behalf of Big Society Capital, Ethex and Triodos Bank, has mapped out the potential size of the retail impact investment market in the UK, provided guidance on which investor ‘tribes’ are most receptive to these products and recommended methods of reaching and engaging with these groups at a national level. For clarity, when we discuss ‘impact investing’, we are talking about retail investments whereby as well as a financial return, the investor is aiming to achieve some form of societal benefit with their capital.

The scale of demand

There is clearly a strong degree of interest for impact investments and savings products – the UK consumer is interested in having a positive impact as well as securing a return on their cash. When asked what proportion of their wealth they would want to commit to impact investing, 39% of the UK population say they would like to commit more of their wealth than they do now.

Despite this degree of interest, only a relatively small proportion of the current population have what we would recognise as an ‘impact investment’. Perhaps more concerning is the difference in profile between those currently making this kind of investment (older, wealthier, better educated more likely to be men), and those that are interested in doing so (a similar profile as the country as a whole by age, gender, region, wealth). What we appear to be dealing with is not a question of demand, but a question of access, credibility and familiarity.

What areas are potential investors most interested in?

Perhaps as a reaction to reduced to pressure on NHS services combined with the aging demography of the country people are the most interested in products that improve health and social care. Combined with this there is a strong preference for products that bring local, rather than international, benefits. So, in general, a product that directly invests in local care homes or support services is going to have greater appeal for nearby investors than a general fund for international aid.

The potential market is motivated by a desire to live responsibly, and to a large extent by wanting to feel they are part of a group having a positive impact on the world. However, they often believe that money invested may be wasted, and desire societal benefits to be measured and reported on to ensure their capital is going to good use. It should also be noted that the group that are interested, but not currently investing, want simple products such as savings and current accounts rather than more complex investments.

The new impact investor segments

Breaking the population down into different types sheds further light on the nature of interest in impact investing. Close to half of the population can be considered a Sceptic – those who do not feel they owe anything to society, do not believe the products are of benefit and are not willing to take a lower return. A further 9% are Unsure, in that they want to do good by society but lack the financial confidence and know-how to engage. However, the remaining 44% of the population can be broken into three types, all of which are already positively investing or are interested to engage. These are the Well-informed, who are both knowledgeable and committed; the Receptive, who are wealthy and engaged but need persuading of the benefits; and the Progressive, who are committed to all forms of social progress but are less confident and less certain that positive investing is the best route to follow. These are the three investor segments that are most likely to join the market, and will be easiest to gain cut-through with. A fuller exploration of these segments, their needs, and communications preferences are included in the full report.

A question of age

Perhaps the starkest attitudinal differences lie between the younger and the older age categories, a trend mirrored in the today’s political discourse. Those over 50 show a level of scepticism to impact investments and do not particularly want to increase their holding in these products, but younger age groups are much more socially motivated, and more willing to both to invest a higher proportion of their wealth, and to forego financial returns in favour of social or environmental outcomes.

Given that they have less money now, but are likely to be wealthier in the future, attracting younger investors is a longer-term consideration, but one likely to pay off. It entails offering impact current and savings accounts and, and potentially pensions, rather than more complex products. It also means marketing products with lower minimum investment sizes, through a wider range of channels. By removing the financial barriers to access, and conducted targeted marketing by preferred channel (e.g. online search, social media, peer/influencer recommendation), we believe that younger people would far prefer to save into a product that has a positive impact on society, than one that does not.

In conclusion

There is much work to be done by providers of impact investments if they are to capitalise on this interest. They must produce simple and accessible products that tackle the local issues that people most care about; they must demonstrate clearly that the benefits to society can and are being realised; and they must be honest and direct about the level of financial return that people can expect from a positive investment (inc. whether or not it is likely to be at a sub-market rate). Only then do the benefits that positive investing can bring to society stand to be realised.

Research Methodology

The research programme included a census of 2000 current impact investors, followed by a statistical segmentation of these investors to better understand previously unknown investor groups, grouped by their motivations and barriers to make this kind of investment. After this census, we then conducted a nationally representative survey of 2000 UK consumers to map out the size of these investor ‘tribes’ at a UK level, and better understand the market potential.

Former Ipsos Director, Georgina Clarke, joins IFF’s Financial Services team

IFF Research have recruited former Ipsos MORI Director Georgina Clarke to their Financial Services team. Georgina brings a wealth of industry experience having worked at NMG Consulting, GfK and Consensus Research (now Breaking Blue) before joining Ipsos in 2014.

Georgina joins IFF at an exciting time for their Financial Services team, who you’ll be able to meet at the MRS Financial Services Conference on 16th November when they will be presenting findings from their ground-breaking research into the motivations and behaviours of consumers towards social investments.

IFF’s Financial Services Director Alistair Kuechel commented:

“We are delighted to welcome Georgina to IFF. We have ambitious plans to expand our Financial Services offer and Georgina will play a key role in the planning and execution of this activity. Her experience and expertise will be invaluable as we look to make even greater strides after a fantastic 18 months.”

IFF’s Chris O’Brien will be presenting key findings from their social investments research at this year’s MRS Financial Services Conference on Thursday 16th November 2017.

Harnessing insights in Financial Services

Research that combines flexibility, open-mindedness and rigour is critical for future success.

Like the sectors it serves, the research and insight industry is undergoing a period of rapid change driven by technological innovation and the constant demand of clients to improve their understanding of customers.

IFF Research has a long history of marrying new methodologies to more established approaches to provide clients with penetrating insights, and to map out the most effective way forward as a business and service provider.

This can range from integrating client companies’ internal operational data with survey responses to identify and address business weaknesses, through to online focus groups, app-based video diaries and social media monitoring.

Alistair Kuechel, director for financial services and regulation, believes being open-minded is critical to ensuring insight needs are met, explaining: “We are a full service agency, covering all parts of the insight jigsaw, quantitative and qualitative, all tailor made to meet the needs of our clients.

“We are methodically neutral and consider all the methodologies to tailor the best solution that meets the client’s needs. We don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach to research design.”

One of IFF’s core areas of expertise, and one undergoing fundamental changes of its own, driven by new technology and changing consumer habits, is financial services.

IFF’s clients operate across the full range of financial sectors, but one key area of focus is supporting those in the pensions and long-term savings market which is in a state of seemingly perpetual change.

Relaxation of private pension rules has given the over-55s more freedom over their retirement choices, but also increased the risk of making poor decisions.

The statistics and news coming out of the industry show how increasing numbers of people are taking advantage of the new freedoms, but the statistics alone do not tell the whole story.

IFF has conducted ground-breaking detailed research, based on exploratory focus groups, for its Retirement Choices report, which shows how participants have become more engaged with their pension options, but also identifies clear areas of consumer concern.

Many people have been left confused and worried about their options, sometimes leading to choice paralysis in the face of what one participant called “the fog of retirement”.

The wide-ranging study shows an unmet need and desire for low-cost, trustworthy and impartial sources of regulated advice tailored to individual needs rather than simply generic guidance.
Many participants made it clear they wanted personal advice, focused on customer outcomes rather than selling products and ideally provided face to face, although they were open to the idea of using Skype or webchats to talk to advisers.

However, the IFF study also recognised the potential impact of robo-advice services that use algorithms to analyse customers’ data and provide regulated financial advice on how best to use pension savings.

Although robo-advice currently accounts for a small proportion of the market, its use is growing and competing with human advisers, bridging the advice gap for consumers who would not necessarily have sought professional expertise previously.

When IFF asked over-55s for their views, many remained cautious about robo-advisers and artificial intelligence, and concerned about how their data might be used.

The study showed that while many people already use government and private sector websites as research tools, most are yet to make the leap to using an automated advice service.

To address their concerns, robo-advice providers should be communicating that they offer fully regulated advice that is easy to use, at a low cost, and is fully tailored to their individual situation and financial needs.

Chris O’Brien, IFF associate director for financial services, says: “As far as robo-advice goes, at the moment there is still a lot of suspicion from people. They still like to talk to someone they feel they can trust. It has not yet reached a tipping point where it has gone mass-market.

“But we know from experience in other parts of financial services that digitisation and automation will continue to develop. People don’t think twice now about going to a price comparison website for insurance, though there is still a role for face-to-face insurance brokers.”

One of the lessons from the explosion in online financial services is that companies need to be prepared to invest in understanding their customer’s evolving expectations, to be able to develop and implement new service offers swiftly.

Doing so will leave them well placed to steal a march over the competition when robo-advice reaches a tipping point and moves from being a niche area used by early adopters to a mass-market tool that is part of the everyday retirement planning process.

IFF is well placed to support financial service providers in this regard. Since its foundation in 1965, IFF has adopted new techniques and new technologies while retaining a core belief in the fundamentals of research – exploring human interaction to understand human behaviour and emotions. Indeed, one of IFF’s core values is “being human first”.

The insight gathered by IFF complements the wealth of big data generated by clients which shows patterns of customer behaviour.

Mr Kuechel adds: “Big data tells them what is happening, but there is a clear role for insight-driven research to understand why things are happening. We triangulate our findings with the data our clients generate. When you marry the two, you get more nuanced understanding of customers.”

IFF Research has private and public sector clients across a wide range of sectors, including Ethex, Swinton, The People’s Pension, NFU Mutual, AON, Travelers, HMRC, FCA, Competition and Markets Authority, Pensions Regulator and DWP.

IFF is constantly pushing at the boundaries in the market research industry and scanning the horizon for movements in its clients’ markets.

Mr Kuechel concludes: “There are exciting developments in our industry and in our clients’ industries. Our role is to enable them to plan for the future by helping them to understand their customers.”

The full Insight Economy special is available to download here

Assessing communications in Financial Services

“The problem is we try to unravel the Mighty Infinite using a language which was designed to tell one another where the fresh fruit was” Terry Pratchett

Fine, I’ll admit it. Most financial services providers we work for are not necessarily trying to ‘unravel the Mighty Infinite’ for customers. Even they would admit that that is a little beyond their purview. However, they do have to try and communicate about a complex and technical subject to an audience that often does not have much motivation to engage with what is being said, nor has a great deal of experience in the subject matter. And they are not always doing a great job.

This is not a new problem for the industry, but it is one that is getting an increasing level of attention over the last year or so. Research briefs we have been receiving from the pensions sector focus on communications, and how best to attract the interest of customers without scaring them away with reams of jargon and a deluge of regulatory fine print. Clarity of language is of the upmost importance; especially now automatic enrolment has brought so many more consumers into the industry.

Firstly, the positives. Financial providers are acutely aware that communications must align with the FCA’s consumer outcomes guidelines. The industry as a whole is obviously doing a lot of work around making communications more accessible, and this is starting to have an impact. Our recent 2017 ‘Retirement Choices’ research gave us the opportunity to ask DC pension holders (aged 55+) what they thought of recent communications from their pension providers, and on the whole they felt that both the presentation and content of direct mail has been improving. The increased use of graphics, higher production values and increasingly tailored content means communications are noticeably better than they used to receive.

However, there are still issues to be addressed:

1) Too much information. When a customer receives a letter or annual statement where much of material is related to financial regulations, often it is going to end up in the bin or filed away, never to be seen again. The overwhelming amount of information completely short circuits any desire to engage with comms material, especially if customers do not think it is an ‘urgent’ matter (e.g. they are retiring very soon).

2) See things from the customer’s perspective. There are complaints that the communications material can be overtly from the perspective of the company, focusing on brand heritage or individual product offers. Customers want a different message hierarchy, one where the focus is on their needs and why services and products are helpful for their specific situation.

3) Not bespoke enough: Few customers pay much attention to generic content anymore. There is an expectation that, as a provider that has access to their savings data, you should be able to provide something more tailored to their situation. Expectations are increasing, and customers are now expecting personalised material, which goes beyond simple graphics of their expected savings growth.

4) Less jargon, more clarity. There are still issues around trust in the pensions sector, mainly due to industry scandals (e.g. BHS) and the wider financial crisis. This is not to the extent of lack of trust in the banking sector, but as pensions are a lower-touchpoint industry than banking there are fewer opportunities to impress. When customers do not fully understand what you are saying, for instance if you start using jargon or technical language the default is that you are trying to pull the wool over their eyes. The moment words such as ‘crystalise’ or ‘UFPLS’ are used, you run the risk of creating a barrier between yourself and the customer.

While ideally you are going to need to tailor your research approach for each individual piece of direct mail, we recommend testing the following areas as a matter of course:

• The simplicity of language used. Do your customers fully understand what your products and services offer? Do they fully understand the risks and benefits? Have you fulfilled your TCF requirement?
• Messaging hierarchy. Do your customers feel the focus is on getting them the best deal or most helpful product, rather than just trying to make money out of them? Have you demonstrated you are considering them as an individual?
• Behavioural impact. Are your customers clear about what to do next? Have you communicated a clear call to action? Could the structure of your material be better arranged to prompt a behaviour?

Communications testing in the financial services sector can be particularly complex due to the regulatory burden placed on providers.

As experts across the full range of financial sectors IFF Research is best placed to provide leading consultancy and research services for all your upcoming communications testing. For further information please contact financialservices@iffresearch.com or call us directly on 020 7250 3035.

IFF’s next seminar ‘A Matter of Facts – The Art of Translating Evidence’ will be taking place on 11th May 2017. This event will look at how through storytelling techniques and data visualisation can we capture imaginations and better engage our audiences.

You can register your interest in this event now.

4 Key Concerns about the Pension Dashboard 2017

IFF’s Chris O’Brien discusses the 4 key concerns about the Pension Dashboard ahead of the 2017 prototype using findings from our Retirement Choices research.

The rationale behind the Pension Dashboard is that it will provide a single view of pension savings across different providers offering information for people to plan their finances for retirement more effectively.

We asked groups of 55+ years of age, with £50,000+ in DC pensions holdings from across the UK to discuss the benefits and the key concerns they had around this service.

Details are outlined in our video below:

 

To find out more about IFF’s Retirement Choices research speak to Chris O’Brien in our Financial Services team using the details below:

Chris1

E: chris.obrein@iffresearch.com

T: 02072503035

Retirement choices: No perfect answer

When conducting focus groups or interviews with consumers, retirement saving is not usually front of mind for them. It’s off far away in the future, and there’s plenty of other priorities for their earnings. From holidays to buying a house, most people’s attention is focused on more immediate concerns. However, our job as researchers is to dig beneath the surface, and when it comes to retirement, for this generation there are plenty of underlying issues which should be worrying Government and the wider industry.

Firstly, there is the understanding about how best to save for the longer term. This tends to be boiled down to three core options; put money aside in savings, grow a business or other asset (e.g. buy-to-let) or put money aside in a pension (usually through their employer). Unfortunately, there is no perfect answer, and there are issues with each of these approaches.

Although it would be wonderful to believe that everyone under the age of 35 is going to be quietly putting money aside into their upcoming lifetime ISA to grow their nest egg, it’s just not going to happen. The overall savings ratio (i.e. the percentage of disposable income that is being saved on average) is, as of December 2016, at 5.6% across the country. So, overall there’s a low level of saving (combined with high levels of personal debt), and what is being saved is most likely being prioritised for other areas like trying to get on the property ladder.

Growing a business has a high level of risk involved. There’s no guaranteeing success and millennials relying on this alone could potentially end up with nothing.

Finally, there’s saving into a pension. Thanks to automatic enrolment every employed millennial is now defaulted into a DC pension scheme, meaning that at least saving is now happening despite a lack of interest in the pensions industry. However, when you weigh up the decrease in average wages, and the fact the current default saving contribution is a whopping 2% (1% staff, 1% employer), there is a very real concern that final pension pot sizes are not going to be sufficient. At the moment, the minimum income standard for retirement is estimated at £9,050 per year. However, the state pension for a single man will provide around £6,200, creating a shortfall of £2850. Based on current annuity rates millennials will require pension savings of £70k to make this up. At the moment the average pot size at retirement is miles off this at £25k, nowhere near the amount needed. In addition to this there is still a very real lack of trust in financial institutions, and cynicism in their desire to work on behalf of customers rather than seeking just to increase their own profits.

Quite obviously we need to help people save more, and start doing it earlier.

What is the industry doing to help?

The good news is that the industry is taking some steps to try and tackle the issue. Automatic enrolment contributions are going to increase over the next few years, so pension savings will start to increase from that perspective. The other element is to increase engagement from younger people earlier.

One method of doing this is the new drive to create a pensions dashboard. This would be a simple online dashboard provides a simple summary of all pension schemes that someone has saved into, making information and a broad overview of progress easier to obtain. Companies have now been appointed to create the dashboard and the government feel that a working prototype will be designed by Spring 2017. The theory is that having a simple summary will lead people to take a more active interest in their pension, with a view to potentially increasing contribution rates.

Another clear way of improving engagement is to simplify the language used to describe available products. It is a constant refrain in consumer research that the language used by financial providers is arcane and unnecessarily complex. The minute a provider starts talking about ‘crystalizing the partial value of your fund into a flexible-access draw-down product’ you’ve lost them. The ABI is taking some steps to address this by drawing up language guidelines, but there is still much further to go to make financial products understandable for the majority.

To address the issue of trust the industry must work towards lower, more transparent charges fees and costs on pensions savings. These are the largest drag on savings values, and infuriate customers, especially when fees are taken despite the value of the fund going down thanks to stock market volatility. The FCA has conducted a review of fees and charges, but there is plenty more work to do in order to reduce fees in reality.

Finally, workplaces need to provide a greater level of support for their staff, and prompt them to improve their engagement. Automatic enrolment means that a pension must be provided for all, but there is no corresponding legislation around further support for employees. Employers are usually seen in a more favourable light that a faceless financial company, and consumers are likely to be far more open to information coming from their employer.

Londoners’ reliance on their homes in retirement

The first wave of IFF Research’s ‘Retirement Choices’ syndicated research uncovered an overconfidence particular to London retirees, rooted in their belief that their property can solve their needs in retirement.

It’s no secret that London’s residential property market has exploded over the past two decades, and is now at the stage where owning their own home is an unobtainable dream for a large proportion of the population. Large increases in property prices are obviously no cause for celebration for those aiming to secure a property without currently owning one, as income is diverted into rental payments or the high cost of living in the capital, rather than being funneled towards a deposit on a property.

The winners of this situation are those that managed to buy a London property over the last few decades, when getting onto the housing ladder was a relatively achievable goal without a substantial level of financial support. This is the position for many of those now in their fifties and sixties, and in the lead up to retiring over the next decade or so.

Most of those interviewed within the ‘Retirement Choices’ groups have now paid off their mortgages, and have seen a substantial increase in the value of their property. They also have substantial DC pension savings (£50k+) and felt that, in one way or another, their current home (and other property) was a key component of their retirement plans for a number of different reasons.

1. Overall financial security. Owning your own home is felt to provide a solid foundation and a degree of security, even if your retirement income is not particularly high. Not having to pay a high monthly mortgage was critical to respondent’s ongoing financial health.

2. Buy to let income. Even if respondents did not have a second property to rent out themselves, this was almost universally acknowledged as the best way to secure an ongoing income in retirement. We will have to monitor whether upcoming regulatory changes impact its popularity in the next wave.

3. Downsizing. Not equity release, but selling the current home and either moving to a smaller property, or moving to a more inexpensive area. However, on reflection, many felt resistance to moving away from their current situation as they did not want to be without their nearby friends and family.

4. Renting out a room for income. Some have been using AirBnB and other room rental sites with varying degrees of success. Those that are positive about renting out a room have found it brings in money, and is an interesting way for them to meet new people.

5. Providing a legacy for children / grandchildren. As well as providing themselves with security, many felt their property was their greatest asset to be able to pass on to their children. There was a clear recognition that whilst they had been fortunate to take advantage of the property market surge, their children and grandchildren will be less likely to secure a property without their assistance.

6. Any healthcare or elderly care support they need. Whilst there is a clear emotional resistance to engaging with the concept that they may require care in old age, when pressed most felt they would need to use the equity in their property to pay for any associated fees.

Within the research sessions, most initially felt they would be financially secure in retirement, and that their property would support them in a number of ways. However, on probing it became apparently that they are expecting their property to possibly do too much, and the discussions themselves became increasingly tense as respondents recognised plans for their property may not be as credible as they had hoped.

The reassurance of a property in London appears to rob many of the need to try and proactively plan for their retirement, and to be more engaged with thinking about how their retirement with logistically work. Those is London are not recognizing that their asset does not offer the security they need, and that they be being too optimistic that their property will be able to cover all their financial needs in retirement.

The next wave of our ‘Retirement Choices’ research programme will improve our understanding of the home’s place within retirement planning across the nation, with upcoming groups being held in the midlands.

How will UK businesses react to Brexit?

So, it has happened. We are now in a post-Brexit society. In the build up to the referendum the general attitude was one of uncertainty, of not knowing which way the UK would vote. Now the uncertainty is focused on how the referendum outcome is going to be implemented.

IFF Research’s business omnibus has been tracking the outlook of UK businesses in the buildup to the referendum and from the data we can see the impact of the Brexit. In December 2015, we can see that two in five businesses (42%) expected their financial position to improve over the coming year, falling to 38% in March 2016. As the political rhetoric increased, and the public became increasingly sensitized to the importance of the upcoming referendum, the uncertainty of the outcome has driven number of optimistic businesses down to a third 35%. See details below:

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We now stand at one of the most unpredictable points in British history with so much ambiguity that it is almost difficult to comprehend. Gaining access to the views of UK businesses at this crucial time is of vital importance and you can do so by adding questions to the next wave of IFF’s Business Omnibus. Contact us below for details and watch this space for further information:

Call: 020 7250 3035

Email: businessomnibus@iffresearch.com