Coronavirus  

Advice firm vows to stay open as long as possible

Advice firm vows to stay open as long as possible

A Yorkshire adviser has pledged to keep staying open as long as possible to ensure it can be business almost as usual for clients. 

In a letter sent to all clients, West Riding Personal Financial Solutions has stated the business is "doing everything in its power" to make sure it can continue advising clients who are "naturally" worried about the health both of their families and of their finances. 

Neil Liversidge, principal of the Yorkshire-based firm, wrote: "We are doing everything in our power to run as
normal. We have always had contingency plans here to deal with all manner of disasters, be
they natural or man-made. Those plans are now in operation."

The office is remaining open as far as possible, with phone lines and Skype meetings available for clients who are happy to do that. 

Office hours are in operation but Mr Liversidge has also provided his mobile for anyone wanting help outside of office hours. 

While one adviser, Nikita Kyle, will have to work from home, Mr Liversidge said the staff would remain in the office unless they need to self-isolate at home.

He said: "In the event that we are all afflicted at the same time, which is mathematically unlikely, everyone else will self-isolate at home and I will self-isolate here in the office so that the phones still get answered and essential tasks completed.

"When we renovated this building, we took the precaution of installing a shower and there’s plenty of room for a camp bed. Come what may, our office will not close."

While advising clients not to make panicked withdrawals while markets are volatile, the letter stated: "If you do need one-off cash payments for any reason, then give us as much notice as possible, ideally at least 10 days, to organise them as efficiently as possible."

Mr Liversidge also told clients: "I understand completely all of you will be concerned for the health of your loved ones just as I am for my family and colleagues. We really are all in this together. My father-in-law, Claude Jabin, is nearly 80 and is suffering from prostate cancer.

"Claude is a French ex-paratrooper who’s never really forgiven me for being English. If I give him coronavirus then I’ll probably be more at risk from him than I am from the virus".

The Financial Conduct Authority has urged financial services businesses to make sure their continuity plans hold up in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic and concurrent market conditions. 

What measures are you putting in place to make sure it is business as usual - or almost as usual - for your staff and clients? Financial Adviser would love to hear from you. Email simoney.kyriakou@ft.com