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One out of five clients of the Polish brokerage office also has an account with a foreign broker

INVESTINGOne out of five clients of the Polish brokerage office also has an account with a foreign broker

The low level of financial education, lack of transparent offers, and limited trust in financial institutions are, according to the study “(Not) Investment Picture of Poles”, the primary factors holding us back from investing. The fast pace of technological development has also posed a challenge for the investment industry, providing tools to enhance customer experience, but at the same time raising their expectations. Polish investors are open to technological innovations – 51% of those surveyed are willing to trust an investment recommendation generated by an algorithm that takes into consideration their financial situation, preferences, and investment goals. Foreign investment firms, in which at least 20% of clients of Polish brokerage houses open additional accounts in search of lower fees and shares in foreign companies or cryptocurrencies, could serve as a benchmark for local players. The Polish investment industry should respond by expanding its offerings, investing in the mobile channel and robo-advisory.

Poles’ wealth is growing along with the economy, and even faster. Over the last 20 years, relative to GDP, Polish assets have grown by 17 pp. (from 74% to 91%). On the other hand, we still save more than we invest. Bank deposits and cash lead the way, where we have accumulated over 1.5 trillion PLN, which is 80% of our financial assets. The low popularity of investment products in our country is also confirmed by the global Accenture study from 2023, in which only every fifth person from Poland (22%) declared owning any investment products.

The latest Accenture study “(Not) Investment Picture of Poles” indicates Poles’ caution in managing wealth. The product of first choice for those surveyed, regardless of investment experience, are deposits and bank accounts, in which, according to the NBP data, Poles have gathered over 1.2 trillion PLN. Every second respondent declares having cash worth over 5,000 PLN, often in foreign currencies. The main motivation for savers who choose deposits and bank accounts is to build financial reserves for unexpected events, where quick access to accumulated funds is crucial. Almost half of the people use this form of capital placement as a form of protection against inflation. Over a third indicate that they save for retirement.

“According to our estimates, if the current preferences for saving are maintained, by the end of 2025, Poles may accumulate over an additional 200 billion PLN in accounts and deposits. If only half of these funds were invested in shares, their nominal value in household portfolios would double. Polish society still holds enormous investment potential. If the Polish brokerage industry takes up the challenge to unleash it, both companies and their clients will benefit,” comments Michał Bazarnik, Managing Director, Accenture in Poland.

With the globalization of financial markets, Polish entities began to compete for investors not only with local companies but also with foreign ones. Every fifth customer, having the main brokerage account in a Polish company, also uses the services of foreign investment platforms. On the other hand, over 40% of investors whose first choice is an account in a foreign company, also use the services of Polish brokerage houses. Foreign companies attract investors with a wide range of offers, fee level, and the quality and availability of mobile apps. The average percentage of people satisfied with the services of foreign entities is about 15 pp higher than in the case of domestic firms. Moreover, the survey shows that brokerage clients are less attached to brokers, which was their characteristic feature just a few years ago. Currently, over 40% of people who use the services of foreign entities and 34% of clients of Polish brokerage offices, declare a willingness to change the company out of “pure curiosity”.

In addition to shares of foreign companies, one of the main reasons investors turn to foreign firms is cryptocurrencies. Estimations indicate that between 2 million to even 3 million Polish investors have this type of asset in their investment portfolios. Poles primarily invest in cryptocurrencies through exchanges specialized in this area (61%). The most popular cryptocurrencies remain Bitcoin and Ether, but over 87% of those surveyed admit that they own other, less popular types. Collectively, they are already regarded as full-fledged financial assets, which, according to 40% of those surveyed, are the future of financial markets. Almost 60% of investors, also for security reasons, would like cryptocurrencies to be offered by traditional financial institutions, which they believe would allow these assets to be stored more simply.

Polish representatives of the brokerage industry are aware that technology on the market is playing an increasingly important role. To match the level offered by foreign competitors, domestic mobile investment apps require functionality improvements and an increase in available products, as well as increased intuitiveness and transparency. The mobile revolution in investing can be accelerated by leveraging experiences from the transformation of mobile banking, which has already been a success in the Polish market.

Thanks to technological development, we may soon witness an AI and robo-advisory revolution in the investment industry. Investor attitudes are optimistic. More than half of those surveyed are willing to trust an investment recommendation generated by an algorithm. What’s more, as many as 43% of people would trust such a recommendation more than one prepared by a specialized person working in the investment advisory area.

“The mobile revolution will not bypass the investment industry because its clients already expect an investor’s application to intuitively provide access to full transaction capabilities and allow insight into their investment portfolios. Creating a transparent, diverse, and attractive offering, with opportunities to invest in shares of foreign companies and cryptocurrencies, as well as the development of technology and building trust in financial institutions, should define the actions of the industry,” summarizes Tomasz Bilczyński, Brokerage Business Lead, Accenture in Poland.

[1] Accenture Global Banking Consumer Study 2023. Reignite human connections to discover hidden value.

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