What we’re doing at BWP
As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to spread both in the UK and worldwide, the impact on all aspects of daily life and business is in turn increasing. 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.
The majority of our colleagues are now working from home, with only a few necessary exceptions. We have enabled those who remain in the office to adhere to social distancing guidelines by relocating workstations throughout our two buildings, making sure no unnecessary contact occurs. We continue to carry out thorough sanitisation of the workplace and equipment regularly throughout each day.
Our Company is committed to supporting the Government’s ‘Stay at Home’ policy and, as a result, we have taken the decision to close our offices to the public. This means that no further face to face meetings will be carried out until we are advised by the Government and Health Authority that it is safe to do so.
However, we are still operating and are leveraging all technology at our disposal to ensure we can interact and communicate effectively with both our clients and team members wherever possible. Although every business is experiencing disruption and limitations to normal operations, we remain confident that we can continue to provide you with a great service. You should be aware though that normal timescales have been adversely affected due to decreased staffing levels within the industry.
We’re here for you
We understand how the current uncertainty might be of great concern to investors and we’d like to let you know that we’re here to answer your questions and to provide guidance. You can keep in touch with us by telephone and email as usual and in addition, we can support meetings by video conferencing or group conference calls by arrangement.
At present, the impact to our core service is still small but we are experiencing some delays and we ask for your patience and understanding during this time. We will continue to respond proactively as the situation develops and keep you informed if any action that has to be taken that further affects the service we can provide.
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 in recent weeks. The sell-off of shares around the world has been heightened by the measures many governments are imposing for entire nations. 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 on a day-to-day basis, 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 continued spread of Coronavirus and the wide-scale quarantining across the world has led to fear over reduced global demand and disruption of supply chains. The impact of this was compounded by disagreements between OPEC members, leading to a fall in the oil price from $60 a barrel at the start of the year to around $30, although a price increase of 20% was seen on Wednesday last week, the biggest one-day leap on record.
Equity markets have fallen dramatically in response to these events and for the most part, indiscriminately. Some sectors have been hit harder than others such as energy and smaller companies which have led the sell offs, as well as those companies with complex supply chains and businesses reliant on discretionary consumer spending.
It has become clear that the impact of the virus is likely to be with us at least for the medium term and in response, consumers are likely to save rather than spend in the face of adversity and uncertainty. The concern for investors is that this develops from a health crisis to a liquidity crisis and beyond.
We all know that markets fear uncertainty and the global economic impact and the threat of recession is an unknown. However, what is becoming clearer is that we are beginning to witness a sustained and co-ordinated response from governments and central banks, such as the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve in the US with fiscal packages and a cut in interest rates. We anticipate that this over time should support markets.
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, in light of recent events. 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, realising 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