Simoney Kyriakou  

Covid-19 brings out the best and worst of us

Simoney Kyriakou

Simoney Kyriakou

The streets resounded the other night with the sounds of clapping and cheering as households across the UK came outside their front doors to thank frontline staff.

While most Britons were rising to honour those working round-the-clock to save lives, others, however, were ignoring all the NHS advice to stay at home. 

Worse, the government still has not ensured the NHS has enough masks, protective clothing and equipment to deal with the ever-rising numbers of coronavirus cases in the UK. 

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All they have is our thanks; and thanks doesn’t put food on their tables or gloves on their hands. 

Just so, we read of advisers going the extra mile for their clients – giving their staff a pay rise at this difficult time, offering flexibility for workers and clients alike or, as in case of Mattioli Woods’ chief executive, reducing their own monthly pay to zero so staff and contractors still get paid. 

It has been encouraging to read of advisers creating support groups for clients and each other. In ordinary times, advisers would be competing against each other; now, they are making sure everyone’s well and offering help.

And then we read of scum pretending to be from HM Revenue & Customs or the Financial Conduct Authority, trying to use the crisis to prey on vulnerable people. 

Sadly, this has been working – nearly £1m has already been lost to scammers since the crisis started to unfold in the UK in February, and we can sadly expect more such tales. 

A crisis brings out the best and the worst in people. It brings out the unyielding determination of our NHS and the kind-heartedness of those in our industry. But it also brings out the very worst of humanity at this time. 

Let’s do all we can to hunt rogues down and shop them to the authorities, and continue to pressure our government to crack down on such scumbags with the fullest force of the law.

Simoney Kyriakou is editor of Financial Adviser