What We’ve Learnt From Covid-19

October 2021
Working From Home
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Nobody will forget the last 18 months with the sad loss of life and livelihoods and the unprecedented changes it brought to all our daily routines. As life slowly begins to return to normal, we thought it would be interesting to reflect on the effect the pandemic has had on our business, our clients and staff.
 
Client meetings
The working from home order had a huge impact from the outset, our IT team quickly arranged laptops and rolled out Microsoft Teams to over 150 staff, allowing us to carry on with business as usual. It meant all our Financial Planners had to switch to telephone and video calls as the primary means of meeting with clients. Our clients had to embrace change quickly too – we all learnt new technologies and ways of communicating. We’ve heard many stories of clients in their 80’s getting zoom access just so they could see their grandchildren or take part in family quizzes!

As a business we are now having over 2,500 video calls a month via Microsoft Teams, a huge leap from zero in 2019. This has enabled our Financial Planners to spend more time advising clients and less time travelling, so that’s a plus for everyone and the planet! Although catching up on-screen is here to stay, face to face meetings are really valuable and our Financial Planners have enjoyed beginning to get out and about again as restrictions have eased. 

Personal Finance Portal
As face-to-face contact reduced access to our Personal Finance Portal (PFP) became increasingly important. PFP enables you to view your fund information and financial portfolio in an instant, provides a secure communication platform for you to message your Financial Planner and gives access to your annual review documentation and other useful documents. The use of our Personal Finance Portal (PFP) has risen significantly during the Pandemic with nearly 5000 clients now registered and a whopping 189% increase in login rates from 2019 to 2021. This might have been due to people having more time and the seriousness of the pandemic motivating a desire to get to grips with their finances. 

If you’re a client and you haven’t registered yet (and we already have your email address) you can find out more about PFP and register by following this link: https://lebc.gb.pfp.net/.  Alternatively click here to send an email to us from the account that you want to register and we’ll help you get set up.

Wills and Trusts 
The loss of life that was reported during the pandemic was both distressing and sobering. It led many to consider what would happen to them and their family if the worst were to happen. A will is essential to ensure that your wealth is passed on in accordance with your wishes when you die, however it’s estimated that only around a half of adults in the UK have one (1). It’s something we advise all our clients to do and we’re pleased to say over 80% of clients signed up to our Private Client Charter service have one in place. If you haven’t got an up to date will visit our Bionic Will Writing Service where you can arrange one online. It’s also worth reviewing any arrangements you had and considering whether they should be written in trust, and that trusts you do have in place remain suitable.

Savings 
Lower spending on travel costs and fewer holidays and meals out have meant that many people have actually managed to save during the Pandemic. Our records show that since March 2020, new ISA plans to the value of £115million were opened. Your ISA allowance is refreshed with each new tax year so it’s always worth utilising as much of it as you can.

And Finally…
Businesses, their people and clients the world over are accepting that work will be changed forever by the events of the last two years. For LEBC it was both a challenge and an opportunity to consider the best ways we can help our clients. Here at LEBC we aim to use the perfect blend of new technology and a personal touch to provide clients with a secure financial future which they can look forward to. 

Ben Doyle
Marketing Executive

The FCA does not regulate Will Writing

Please remember, no news or research item is a recommendation or advice to buy. LEBC Group Ltd is not responsible for accuracy and may not share the author’s views. The contents of this blog are for information purposes only and do not constitute individual advice. All information is based on our current understanding of taxation legislation and regulations. The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate estate planning, tax advice, wills or trusts.
 
Gosschalks (1) – https://www.willaid.org.uk/latest-news/more-half-british-adults-have-no-will-survey-reveals

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