What we’re doing at BWP
As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues in both the UK and worldwide, the impact on many aspects of daily life and business is ongoing. We are continuing to respond to the ever-changing situation and want to keep you updated on how we are acting to protect the health and safety of our clients and colleagues and maintain our service to you.
Many of our colleagues are still working from home, with only the necessary exceptions working in our offices. We have enabled those who remain in the office to adhere to social distancing guidelines by relocating workstations throughout our two buildings and making sure no unnecessary contact occurs. We continue to carry out regular, thorough sanitisation of the workplace and equipment throughout each day.
Our Company is committed to supporting the Government’s current advice and, as a result, we are continuing with the closure of our offices to the general public. Face to face client meetings are only taking place in exceptional circumstances, where no other alternative is feasible. Visitors are requested to sanitise their hands at the stations provided when entering and leaving the building and are required to wear suitable face coverings at all times when on our premises.
We are maintaining our operations at our usual high standard by leveraging the technology at our disposal and constantly appraising additional technologies that may be of benefit. We continue to digitally interact and communicate with both clients and colleagues wherever possible. There is still some disruption and limitations to our normal operations, but we remain confident that we can continue to provide you with a great service. However, you should be aware that ‘normal’ timescales are still being adversely affected due to decreased staffing levels across the financial services industry and this, in turn, is affecting our processing timelines. We are currently experiencing some delays and ask for your patience and understanding in these circumstances.
We’re here for you
We understand how the current financial situation might be of concern to some investors and we’d like to let you know that we’re here to answer your questions and to provide guidance. You can get in touch with us by telephone and email as usual, and additionally, we can support meetings by video conferencing or group conference calls by arrangement.
We will continue to respond proactively as the situation evolves and will keep you informed if any action that has to be taken that further affects the service we can provide.
What happens to my pension if I am furloughed?
For many people, salary and pension contributions may be being paid by the government under the furlough scheme, with employers starting to share the cost from August. If your salary has dropped, the amount paid into your pension is likely to fall. How your pension may be impacted under the scheme is explained in this leaflet, published by one of the UK’s leading wealth managers.
Keeping safe from scams
Unfortunately, there has been increase in financial crime. Criminals are now preying on people’s fear by launching various fraud and phishing campaigns.
Coronavirus-related fraud has increased by 400% in March, and since February 2020, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has identified 105 reports of fraud where coronavirus or COVID-19 was mentioned, with victim losses totalling over £970,000.
Remember, we’re here to provide guidance if you are suspicious of any communications regarding your money, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Financial Market update
Global stock market movements have been unprecedented and nothing short of dramatic since the pandemic took hold. With this in mind, we have provided a simple and straightforward analysis of the current investment landscape. As you can appreciate, the situation is changing daily, so please get in touch if you would like a more detailed view. Our primary message to investors, however, is that it is important to remain calm and remain invested.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to dominate investment markets. The third quarter saw a continuation of the recovery for equities as lockdown measures were lifted and people returned to work. Whilst we were looking ahead to a degree of normalisation however, a second wave of infections in September caused a setback.
The pandemic has dominated our thoughts and, in addition, the US election and Brexit negotiations have also provided additional uncertainty. The combination of these factors has resulted in some profit taking but, on balance, it was a positive quarter for global equities. Investors will continue to weigh up the economic damage against the massive fiscal and monetary economic stimulus that has been provided by governments and central banks. As such, we recommend investors look through the short-term noise and focus on the long-term prospects.
Dispersion within markets and sectors has been, and is likely to remain, high. Companies with stable or growing earnings have performed well; meanwhile others have been severely impacted and may not recover from the damage caused by the pandemic. The US election and the balancing act between pandemic and stimulus will no doubt add to market volatility for the rest of the year. We believe equities will continue to find support from long-term low interest rates.
Keeping a balanced perspective
Whilst this current situation is undoubtedly worrying over the short term, we continue to remain confident for the long-term prospects of investments. We would urge caution and restraint in these volatile conditions and do not recommend any change to your investment strategy that you have agreed with your financial adviser. Your investments are in line with your risk profile and time horizon and as such, we would recommend that you remain invested in accordance with this, rather than to sell out and potentially realise paper losses.
Please read this leaflet, which gives some valuable insights, in case you’re worried about how the current market conditions may be adversely affecting your investments.
If you have any questions or would like some more information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
Telephone 01454 773690