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Whilst our outlook for the latter part of 2021 remains very positive, like many readers of this COVID UPDATE we do have a sense of déjà vu.

However, along with the sense of “here, we go again“, we enter this lockdown with (1) a much better understanding of how our clients will need our support, (2) the challenges we’ll face internally and (3) the frustrations we’ll experience when working really hard to deliver the service our clients deserve.

1. We are here for our clients, answering your questions and hopefully reassuring you. Our clients are our number one priority. Clients should NEVER be worried about calling or emailing, we want to talk to you!

2. Our team and families are not immune from COVID, at the time of writing we (again) have a key member of the team waiting for a COVID test result. Some of our team will find themselves doing “resupply exercises” for elderly and vulnerable family members and neighbours. A large number of the team become teachers overnight, trying to work full time from home whilst trying to home-teach their children (none of whom rate their parents as teachers and all of whom are likely to become increasingly difficult as lockdown progresses).

We learnt from the first lockdown that there won’t be any difference between the working week and weekends; everyone will be working flexibility to do their very best to look after our clients. However, your emails may take a little longer to get answered, your ‘phone call may go to voicemail (do leave a message and we’ll call you back as soon as we can!), or perhaps your ‘phone call will be answered by an eight-year-old, desperate to help mum or dad (or desperate to avoid their schoolwork)

3. We expect delays receiving inbound post again. We took decisive action to manage the problems we had receiving mail in Wales last year; we anticipate access to post in Ransom Hall will reduce to once or twice per week, however, we’re hopeful that our PO Box 899 address will remain resilient.

During the first lockdown, the ‘stay at home order’ caused frequent mobile telephony and internet outages for many of the team as provision for isolated villages couldn’t cope with some many homeworker and home-schoolers. ‘Lag’ issues with online video conference were also common as providers struggled with demand exceeding bandwidth. We may experience similar problems over the coming months.

As financial intermediaries, we act as the conduit between our clients and financial institutions. Unfortunately, based on the 2020 performance of many financial institutions we anticipate continued severe disruption to the timely provision of information and to poor levels of service those product and investment providers struggle trying balance data-security, homeworking, COVID absences and old fashioned service.

Ongoing communications:

  • COVID and prioritising client care hampered our ability to publish our client newsletters during 2020 in as timely a manner as we prefer. Given the challenges we anticipate over the coming months we have taken the decision to suspend our newsletters, instead, we hope to provide links to specific articles at www.investretire.co.uk/news (Note we author ALL of our content, none is bought in and white labelled so please let us know what you like and what you don’t). in favour of making articles
  • We will continue to publish our COVID Updates at www.investretire.co.uk/covid our COVID Update are also automatically included in our news feed (www.investretire.co.uk/news)
  • Our social media assets will continue to be neglected during lockdown (caring for our clients is much more important), however, if we experience a significantly degraded  service technology or outage from any of our technology infrastructures we will always try to post a status notification and status update on our Twitter account: https://twitter.com/uk_investretire

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Investment & Retirement Solutions Ltd is authorised & regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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