A message from PIMFA’s Chief Executive, Liz Field

These are, without doubt, strange and unsettling times to be living through, and as we adapt and adjust while the crisis unfolds, the situation re-iterates the important role financial advisers and wealth managers play in helping support individuals financial and mental wellbeing.

FOR PIMFA MEMBERS
If you are a PIMFA member log in and then click here to access our detailed COVID-19 information such webinars, podcasts, briefing notes, global response tracker, regulatory updates etc.

With so much volatility and uncertainty, many of our members will also be looking for guidance, advice and information too. Whether it’s how to engage with the regulator, how to stay safe while continuing to provide their clients with advice, or concerns about their own wellbeing,

PIMFA will be there to provide our members with as much support as possible.

As many of our members will already know we are holding weekly meetings with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). I would urge all member firms to contact PIMFA with any concerns or issues they want us to address with the regulator on their behalf.

I have already called for forbearance on the part of the FCA given the extraordinary times we are living through. PIMFA will continue to engage positively and constructively with the FCA and will continue to keep our members informed of developments as they occur.

In the meantime, from all the staff at PIMFA, we hope you stay safe and well.

Liz Field
CEO, PIMFA

Resources

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FOR PIMFA MEMBERS
If you are a PIMFA member log in and then click here to access our detailed COVID-19 information such member only guides, webinars, podcasts, briefing notes, global response tracker, regulatory updates etc.

Latest R Number & Growth Rate 

Last updated on Friday 4 September 2020 at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-r-number-in-the-uk

Latest R number range for the UK:
0.9-1.1

Latest growth rate range for the UK:
-1% to +2% per day

A growth rate between -1% and +2% means the number of new infections is somewhere between shrinking by 1% and growing by 2% every day.

The UK estimates of R and growth rate are averages over very different epidemiological situations and should be regarded as a guide to the general trend rather than a description of the epidemic state.

Region R Growth rate % per day

England 0.9-1.0 -2 to +1
East of England* 0.8-1.0 -5 to 0
London* 0.9-1.1 -3 to +2
Midlands 0.8-1.0 -6 to 0
North East and Yorkshire 0.8-1.0 -3 to 0
North West 0.8-1.0 -3 to 0
South East 0.8-1.0 -4 to +1
South West* 0.8-1.1 -4 to +1

*Particular care should be taken when interpreting these estimates as they are based on low numbers of deaths and/or clustered outbreaks within this area and are insufficiently robust to inform policy decisions alone.

Lockdown Easing 

Face Masks
As of 24 July face coverings are now compulsory for customers in shops in England, after new coronavirus rules came into force within 12 hours of the government issuing guidance on the change.

Coverings are mandatory in enclosed public spaces such as supermarkets, indoor shopping centres, transport hubs, banks and takeaways.

Police can hand out fines of up to £100 to those who do not comply.

Social Distancing
From 4 July the two metre social distancing guidance changed in England to one metre plus.

In England, two households of any size will be able to meet indoors or outside. It will be possible to stay overnight as long as the observe social distancing or are part of the same ‘support bubble’.

As of 6 July, people who are vulnerable and ‘shielding’ are now able to meet up in groups of up to six people outdoors, including individuals outside of their household, and form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household.

In Scotland and Wales, the 2m distancing rule remains in place for the time being.

Re-opening businesses
Restaurants, pubs, cafes, holiday accommodation, museums, cinemas, hairdressers and children’s playgrounds in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland have been allowed to reopen, providing they follow safety guidelines from this date.

Pubs, cafes, restaurants and bars can reopen indoors in Wales from 3 August, providing coronavirus cases continue to fall.

Businesses are being asked to:

  • avoiding face-to-face seating by changing office layouts
  • reducing the number of people in enclosed spaces
  • improving ventilation
  • using protective screens and face coverings
  • closing non-essential social spaces
  • providing hand sanitiser
  • changing shift patterns so that staff work in set teams

FCA Updates

PIMFA welcomes FCA regulatory forbearance in wake of coronavirus outbreak

PIMFA, the trade association for the wealth management and financial advice industry, welcomes the action taken last night by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in respect of wealth management and financial advice firms.

As their members already know, PIMFA flagged issues off-record with FCA very early and then wrote to the FCA and HM Treasury (HMT) ten days ago outlining the concerns and potential impact of coronavirus on member firms and their clients after consultation with the membership.

Since then PIMFA has held meetings with the FCA providing feedback from member firms on the compliance and operational issues many are facing in the current climate.

Letter

Dear CEO Letter to firms providing services to retail investors about coronavirus (COVID-19) 

In the last few days the UK, and the world in general, has faced an unprecedented set of circumstances linked to the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency. 

The FCA has received hundreds of requests for adaptations to our regulatory approach from trade associations and firms, in addition to the range of measures we have taken in close co-ordination with the Bank of England and HM Treasury. In the first few days of the crisis we have focussed on essential support to the medical emergency, for example, ensuring mortgage forbearance works properly so people keep a roof over their head. 

PIMFA hold regular meetings with the FCA in wake of Coronavirus outbreak

PIMFA has written to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and HM Treasury (HMT) outlining the concerns and potential impact of coronavirus on member firms and their clients.

PIMFA chief executive Liz Field, has written to both FCA chief executive Chris Woolard and HM Treasury, director general of financial services Katherine Braddick, outlining a number of areas of concern for member firms. She has also reiterated the need for guidance and clarification for firms on how they should engage with the regulator in this period of uncertainty.

Summary of PIMFA letter to Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

Dear Christopher,

We have been discussing the impact of the coronavirus on our member firms’ businesses and on their clients. We also recognise that FCA’s resources will be stretched due to an increase in the number of queries from firms and the organisation’s need to act in the best interests of its own staff. 

We believe that industry needs to get a sense from the FCA that the overall resilience of the UK financial infrastructure is recognised as being much more important than firms’ compliance with “nitty-gritty”, non-core obligations (e.g. the timeliness of issuing particular documents). 

A message from PIMFA Chairman Lord Deben

Since we have entered Covid lockdown, I can now report that the PIMFA Team is fully adjusted to working remotely, with all business being conducted by email, telephone or Zoom. We are working with other stakeholders to protect our industry through this unprecedented period and will, of course, continue to vigorously represent your views, issues and concerns with Regulators and Government alike

We are regularly communicating with the FCA on compliance issues throughout this period and we have instituted weekly meetings with them so that we can further enhance this process.

To do this effectively and in a timely manner, we need to hear from as many of our members as possible with your current concerns. You can do this in a number of ways.

Read more

Useful Links

PIMFA Members only Covid-19 information pagePIMFA ScamSafePIMFA Financial & Mental Wellbeing CampaignFCA Covid–19 informationNHS Apps LibraryWorld Health Organisation