18th March 2020
UPDATE 23.03.2020: In light of the latest UK government advice, Whitechurch will be closing all its offices with immediate effect. Please be reassured that we have measures in place for our business to remain with operational effectiveness.
We ask kindly that where possible you use email as our primary contact method and minimise postal correspondence.
Your patience, cooperation and support is sincerely valued at this time.
In these uncertain times, we understand how unsettling the current situation is. We want to reassure you that the team at Whitechurch is here to advise and support you. Your adviser remains available to provide you with support and guidance so do not hesitate to contact them, as needed.
We are monitoring developments closely and putting in place procedures to ensure the safety of our staff and clients. We are holding regular strategic meetings to plan for all scenarios and keeping up to date with government advice.
We are taking all necessary steps to enable us to continue to provide a high level of service despite these difficult circumstances. Our primary concern is the health, safety and well-being of our staff and clients and we are providing guidance to our staff, which covers the following:
• Steps they should take to reduce the spread of coronavirus
• What to do if they fall ill
• Self-isolation and absence reporting
• Advising staff to cease all non-essential travel
• Advising all client meetings to be carried out remotely or postponed
We are now limiting staff presence in our offices; however, all members have access to a range of technologies to ensure we can engage with you effectively and look after all investments thoroughly. We have listed below several actions we are taking to ensure that we can maintain business as usual:
• Ensuring those who can work from home can remotely access systems within a secure IT environment
• Providing staff with remote technology that connects to our usual office numbers to continue efficient communication with you.
• Emails will be picked up as usual and we will be redirecting phone calls, the number to call will remain as: 01174521208 and 01174521207
• Ensuring staff are familiar with different technologies that would support home working
• Reviewing and prioritising our workflow to ensure that we can maintain the services required by clients
Recent weeks have seen the continued escalation of the Coronavirus outbreak which has now become a pandemic. Governments around the world have put in place a raft of measures to deal with the outbreak including social distancing and, in many cases, complete lockdowns of cities and countries with many countries now closing their borders completely.
Naturally, these measures will have a direct and immediate impact on economic activity, and many businesses will be impacted by a reduction in demand, with the most indebted companies struggling to survive. However, this is not expected to last forever and in time the lockdowns and social distancing will be removed and pharmaceutical companies will have developed vaccines, China is already seeing a rapid fall in the number of new cases and people are returning to work. In addition, the authorities are taking steps to mitigate the impact both through looser monetary policy, the Bank of England cut interest rates earlier in the month and further stimulus is expected both in the UK and globally to help businesses and the public deal with the economic impact of the virus.
We appreciate the ongoing market volatility is unsettling for clients and we are in ongoing dialogue with the fund managers whose funds we are invested in to obtain updates on both the actions they are taking within the funds and the measures the fund houses are taking in order to maintain continuity of business at this time.
This is a constantly evolving situation and we want to provide the reassurance that Whitechurch will continue to closely monitor advice from the government and follow any guidance put in place.
Please be assured that as a business we have these measures in place to ensure continuity of service. Please do feel free to call us at any time on: 01174521208 and 01174521207.