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Finance flummoxes 75% of the public

Nearly a third of adults regret buying a particular financial product because they had not taken proper advice, according to Mintel research.

The Education and Advice in Financial Services survey also reveals almost three-quarters of adults are confused over financial products due to lack of education.

One in 10 of the 1,635people questioned have visited the Citizen&#39s Advice Bureau to seek financial advice.

A total of 93 per cent agreed that basic financial skills should be taught at school.

Two-thirds of respondents said they had learnt most of their understanding of financial services through trial and error.

Women have slightly more problems than men, with three-quarters of women saying they do not understand more complex financial products compared with 68 per cent of men.

Another finding of the survey was that one in five people never check the position of their finances. Only one in 10 look at the performance of finances outside bank and building society accounts once a month, such as shares, funds mortgages and pensions.

Mintel forecasts sales by direct channels will increase significantly over the next five to 10 years but that products such as life insurance and pensions will be less popular when sold directly than, for example, motor insurance.

Finance consultant Paul Davies says: “Despite Government plans to teach children basic financial skills from the age of five, many of today&#39s adults will continue to str- uggle with the complexity of financial services.”

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