Friends and family acting as informal financial advisers, research shows

Recent Roy Morgan research has demonstrated just how much we rely on family and friends when it comes to financial advice and choosing our investments: 3.5 million Australians. A face-to-face survey of over 50,000 Australian consumers found that 17 per cent have been asked by people close to them for advice on financial topics. The supposition is that this network of advice is likely to influence financial decisions in a major way.

Citibank and ME Bank have the highest number of customers who seek out the advice of family and friends - over 30 per cent of their customers have been asked to advise those close to them. The next highest was Macquarie Bank and ING, then Heritage Bank, Bank SA, Teachers Mutual, and Commonwealth Bank.

Those asked to provide advice tended to be wealthier, with about 35 per cent of those asked for advice being in the top 10 per cent of banking customers in terms of wealth, and those earning over $120,000 annually and/or small business owners and professionals.

Another study by ING and Rice Warner in 2018 found that over 50 per cent of Gen Z (aged between 16 and 23) trusted the financial advice of their parents, with 30 per cent using other family members for advice.