Australians seeking financial advice from friends and family

Pedro Gonçalves
Australians seeking financial advice from friends and family

When it comes to getting financial advice in Australia, aussies look no further than their friends, a survey shows.

Roy Morgan research revealed more than 17% of Australians are asked to advise on the financial matters of their friends and family, acting as "trusted advisers" for about six million people.

Citibank customers have the greatest impact on friends and family's financial decision, as  Citibank has the highest proportion of customers (34.5%) that are asked for their financial advice out of the sixteen largest consumer banks. This is followed by ME Bank with 32.2%.

In terms of the big four banks, ANZ customers are most asked for advice (21.2%), followed by NAB (20.4 per cent), Westpac (19.5%) and CBA (17.9%). 

Bringing up the tail were regional and mutual banks Heritage Bank, Bank SA and Teachers Mutual and - Australia's largest bank - the Commonwealth Bank.

Those asked to provide advice for friends and family also tend to be well off, with 35.9% of financial institution customers in the top 10% of banking and financial product value ending up as "trusted advisers".

People with personal incomes over $120,000 and professional and small business owners were also well represented, with just under a third of either group asked to give advice to friends and family.

"This research shows that financial decisions for many have the potential to be impacted to a considerable extent by informal advice from friends and family, rather than relying on professional financial planners," Norman Morris, industry communications director, Roy Morgan said.

"With three and a half million people being asked by family and friends for financial advice and six million asking them for advice, this network is likely to play a major role in financial decisions.

"The banks dealt with by the people who give advice have the potential to gain customers provided they have high satisfaction and as a result are more likely to be advocates for their bank.

"It is therefore worth banks understanding and tracking that important group of their customers, the ‘trusted advisors',"  he added.