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PFS backs Financial Vulnerability Taskforce

The Personal Finance Society has been a key mover behind the launch of an independent Financial Vulnerability Taskforce aimed at supporting planners and advisers to spot and tackle consumer vulnerability.

The professional body, which awards the Chartered Financial Planner designation and has 40,000 members, says it wants to improve client outcomes and increase access to financial advice.

Advisers will be encouraged to support the taskforce campaign and sign up for a new Financial Vulnerabilty Charter.

The taskforce will promote wider understanding of clients in vulnerable circumstances and encourage good practice as well as addressing the expectations of regulatory standards and public expectations. 

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To adopt the Financial Vulnerability Charter financial advisers need to commit to the nine core consumer guide pledges.

These:

  1. Acknowledge their services involve the application of specialist and technical financial knowledge which places many clients in a position of dependency.
  2. Ensure clients’ interests are placed above
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7IM latest platform to axe VAT from MPS

7IM has become the latest platform to announce the removal of VAT charges from its Managed Portfolio Service (MPS).

The price changes will come into effect as of 1 February 2021 and apply to the model portfolios available to Financial Planners through the 7IM platform as well as third party platforms.

7IM follows a growing number of providers removing VAT from their Managed Portfolio Services, recently including Brooks Macdonald and AJ Bell.

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The decision to remove VAT follows industry discussions with HMRC about the requirement to add VAT to MPS products with HMRC indicating it is not required. Other firms which have now removed VAT from MPS investment products include Brewin Dolphin, Tilney Smith & Williamson and Investec.

The changes mean the 7IM Active and Passive model portfolios will have an all-in cost of 0.25% going forward, while the Bespoke model portfolios range between 0.25%-0.30%.

The 7IM Pathway

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Supreme Court backs Covid-19 insurance payouts

The Supreme Court has mostly accepted an FCA appeal which opens the door to Covid-19 business interruption (BI) insurance payouts.

An estimated 370,000 SME policyholders could be helped by the judgment.

Last year the FCA launched a business interruption insurance test case to seek a judicial judgment on whether insurers should pay out after many argued Covid-19 interruption was not covered by policies. 

The Supreme Court today delivered its judgment on the test case and substantially allowed the FCA’s appeal on behalf of policyholders. 

The FCA says this should complete the legal process for impacted policies and means that many thousands of policyholders will now have their claims for coronavirus-related business interruption losses paid. Payouts could total millions of pounds and help thousands of small firms as well as preserving jobs.

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Sheldon Mills, executive director, consumers and competition at the FCA, said: “Coronavirus is causing substantial loss and

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Editor’s Column: Why putting cash before clients is a mistake

I was mightily impressed this week by the words from the expanding senior team at Glasgow-based holistic Financial Planning firm Murphy Wealth.

Their words reminded me once again that while there are many ways to run a Financial Planning business, focusing entirely on acquiring funds under management – with little regard to client happiness and wellbeing – is not one of them.

Their firm, a lifestyle planning firm and therefore on the ‘holistic’ wing of the Financial Planning profession, announced a couple of senior appointments this week as it plans to expand this particular approach.

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It promoted John Moran to be its new executive chair and Neil Bage to the new role of chief behavioural officer. I do not know many Financial Planning firms with CBOs yet but it could well be the coming trend. It’s perhaps best seen as an extended COO with some behavioural science included.

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Quilter launches scam reporting tool

Wealth management and Financial Planning giant Quilter has launched a new online tool for reporting suspected impersonation scams.

Anyone who believes they have been exposed to, or have fallen victim to, an impersonation scam that features a clone of Quilter’s branding or marketing materials, can use the tool to report their concerns directly to the firm.

The online tool will report suspected scams directly to Quilter’s financial crime team, who will assess the legitimacy of the investment proposition in each individual case and provide a response directly to the consumer the next working day offering support and guidance on next steps.

Investment scams that impersonate a regulated financial services firm have surged in recent years, increasing by 634% since 2010. Impersonation scams accounted for 37% of all FCA warnings issued between 2010 and December 2020.

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Quilter’s brand has been used by scammers in the past in an attempt

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Seven Things Every Leader Should Stop Doing In 2021

by Edward D. Hess, author of “Hyper-Learning: How to Adapt to the Speed of Change

The times they are a-changing… and so is the nature of our work. And as our familiar world crumbles around us (thanks, COVID-19!) — and technology keeps snapping up more and more of the tasks humans have always done — we’ll need a whole new set of skills. And that means leaders have some very bad habits to break.

If you’re looking for a good resolution for 2021, don’t focus on new things to start doing. Instead, vow to quit some old, counterproductive leadership behaviors that don’t work in today’s world.

The new world we’re entering has flipped everything upside down. The skills, mindsets, and ways of being that were once prized and sought after have actually become liabilities. And yet too many leaders can’t seem to get with the new program.

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Five Keys To Remote Business Success Every Founder Needs To Know In 2021

by Richard Roth, Founder of Progressive Tech

Starting any new venture in life is an exciting time, be it a business or any other endeavor. Odds are it will almost certainly require more sweat, time and determination than you expected. During these tumultuous times, when established systems collapse and change, new opportunities are constantly being created. Out of any great challenge, new entrepreneurs rise up to fill new needs and desires. Don’t let technology be a burden. Like any powerful tool, it can either be instrumental, or a complete barrier to success.

This season, in preparation for a successful new year, here are some tech tips that entrepreneurs can implement right now to build security and momentum into 2021:

Use the best security measures across the board.

You’re only as secure as your weakest technology/user. Always use multi factor security measures wherever possible. Consider using a password generator and/or a … Read the rest

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SJP to chop 200 roles after review

Wealth manager St James’s Place is to cut 200 jobs from its workforce following a review of the business.

The company says it has been carrying out a strategic review for the past 12 months and identified some duplication of tasks and some unnecessary work which made a number of jobs redundant.

Staff were informed about the changes this morning with some set to be offered voluntary redundancy or, in some cases, a transfer to other roles within the company.

About 1 in 10 of the company’s 2,000 staff will go.

The company has stressed that the changes have been planned for some time are not related to recent calls from activist investor Primestone for a major shake-up of the business.

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It is not believed any of the 4,300 advisers or partners who trade under the SJP banner are directly affected by the job reduction.

SJP CEO Andrew

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How Startup Founders Can Battle Insomnia

As a hard-working entrepreneur, you probably have been encouraged to think that sleep is for the weak. After all, “you snooze, you lose,” right?

The reality is that sleep deprivation can negatively affect your overall health. If you suffer from sleep insomnia, you are probably aware of these unwanted side effects.

Here are the four secrets to battling insomnia as a startup founder.

Decompress Before Bedtime.

Many startup founders work right until bedtime. The problem with this routine is that you’ll end up thinking about work while lying in bed. More than likely, you’ll pay for it the next day.

A better strategy is to stop working at least an hour before bedtime. By doing so, you’ll have time to decompress, whether you spend the time before bedtime reading fiction, working out, or talking to a friend.

Engage in Regular Exercise.

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Kelly exits as Sesame Bankhall reshuffles exec team

Adviser network Sesame Bankhall Group has given expanded roles to Richard Howells and Ross Liston as part of an exec reshuffle.

As part of the changes, Jim Kelly, group business development director, will leave Sesame Bankhall but intends to continue to be involved in the financial services sector.

Mr Howells will move from his current role as managing director of Sesame Network to become Sesame Bankhall Group’s chief operating officer.

He will oversee the delivery of services to 11,000 advisers and will be responsible for the development of IT and digital and data systems.

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Mr Liston, currently managing director of Bankhall and PMS Mortgage Club, becomes Sesame Bankhall Group’s new managing director for distribution.

His role will include responsibility for Sesame Network, marketing and events teams. He will also lead relationship management and client engagement activity across the group’s three brands: Sesame, Bankhall, and PMS.

Both will continue

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