As advisers continue to support their clients through the cost of living crisis, they have been reminded to take time out to look after their own mental health as well.
Financial inclusion commissioner and insurance industry veteran, Johnny Timpson said it is important that those working in the industry be mindful of their own wellbeing after what has been a difficult year.
Timpson noted that macroeconomic uncertainty, high inflation and the energy crisis are all factors which have contributed to stress among clients and colleagues.
“Save the lifting of Covid restrictions in March, the summer success of England’s Lionesses in the European Championship and the autumn triumph of the England T20 World Cup team, 2022 will largely be remembered as an ‘annus horribilis’.
“We’ve seen the passing of our late Queen, a misplaced and mistimed world cup, political turmoil with three prime ministers, four chancellors of the exchequer, four Budget events and three pensions ministers,” Timpson said.
“Plus our nation’s reputation for sound money has been badly damaged. And crucially Britain is getting poorer,” he added.
2022 saw the return of high interest rates, inflation, recession and the risk of stagflation.
At the same time, low productivity and long-term low income growth continue to “dog the economy”, as Timpson put it.
In his view, all of these factors converged and resulted in an Autumn Statement that “combined the ‘tough choices’ rhetoric of George Osborne and the policies of Gordon Brown”.
“Whilst I’m in no doubt that making spending choices was tough for the government, the making of tough choices is now the reality for families and small businesses with the number of clients presenting as vulnerable set to increase significantly,” Timpson told FTAdviser.
Given this difficult climate, Timpson hopes that the industry will enter 2023 with a desire to focus on prevention of harm and fully play its part in “improving the physical, mental, financial and social health and wellbeing of consumers, clients and colleagues”.
Wellbeing has come increasingly under the spotlight in the industry since the Covid-19 pandemic with many firms actively seeking to support their employees with their mental health.
Appearing on the FTAdviser podcast in May, Quilter chief executive Paul Feeney said City bosses need to stop delegating mental health to their human resources department and start taking it personally.
Feeney has spoken openly about his mental health experiences over the past few years, sharing his struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder and how this has impacted his mental health.
In October of this year, Quilter appointed Daisy Dupree-Loxton as its new head of wellbeing.
Dupree-Loxton, who was formerly manager of wellbeing and mental health at the Walt Disney Company said at the time: "We spend the majority of our time in work and if that workplace doesn’t look after us, it can have a long lasting impact on our physical and mental health."