Coronavirus  

Adviser launches pro bono service for businesses

Adviser launches pro bono service for businesses

Advice firm Telford Mann Pensions & Investments has launched a pro bono advice service to help business owners with their financial planning during the coronavirus crisis.

The firm is offering guidance and support to anyone who has questions or concerns about their finances and how to survive the impact coronavirus has had on their business.

It is also waiving set up fees on new business between June 1 and August 31.

Jilly Mann, joint managing director of Telford Mann, said the firm’s experience of providing advice to businesses throughout the 2008 global financial crisis put them in good stead to advise business owners on how the impact of Covid-19 may affect their personal and corporate financial planning.

Ms Mann said: “Coping with a recession is one thing, but lockdown adds a whole new dimension to the struggles of those trying to keep a business going until the restrictions are eased.”

She warned during difficult times many businesses were opting to stop contributions into their personal pension but this did not necessarily lead to the best outcomes.

Ms Mann said: “Worryingly, one of the first things business owners do is cancel contributions into their own pensions and investments to preserve capital in order to survive for as long as possible.

“For some, this may be the only option, but there are other considerations to factor in, such as money that is held in a pension is safe from creditors, whereas funds in a business bank account aren’t.

“It is also possible for individuals over the age of 55 to drawdown funds from their pensions in order to lend funds back to a business that may be struggling to obtain finance elsewhere.

“Obviously, these are just ideas and won’t be suitable for every business but for some, their pension fund could be a badly needed lifeline. These are conversations we can have with people.”

Based in Northamptonshire, Telford Mann manages funds in excess of £550m for more than 2,500 clients. 

Other advisers have also offered free advice and consultations to help people during these troubling times.

William Burrows, retirement director at Better Retirement, launched an Emergency Financial Advice website, which allows individuals aged over 50 to book a free initial 30 minute discussion with a regulated financial adviser.

Following the call, the 50 advisers that have already signed up to the initiative will decide whether to offer pro bono guidance for vulnerable and low-income clients or full regulated financial advice for a modest fee if needed. 

amy.austin@ft.com

What do you think about the issues raised by this story? Email us on fa.letters@ft.com to let us know.