Wealth Management Update – October 2016
Data protection: Help us protect you
Protecting our personal details gets increasingly difficult with every passing year as technology evolves. If you told us even ten years ago that we would be able to pay for something by tapping a credit card on a device we would have said you were mad. We were only then struggling to get to grips with “Chip & Pin”.
You may have read a report in the papers at the end of August that really hit home with us and the whole financial services industry. The Financial Ombudsman Service has ordered a Financial Advisor to compensate a client after it was deemed that the Advisor failed to prevent fraud. When seen in black and white the situation does sound quite ridiculous, but in the course of day-to-day life we are sure it did not seem so at the time.
Fraudsters hacked into a client’s email and instructed the client’s financial advisor to make a payment into a solicitor’s bank account in Hong Kong. The platform where the money was held refused to send the payment as they could not verify the solicitor in Hong Kong. Instead, they contacted the advisor, who contacted the client via email to advise of the situation. The fraudsters intercepted the email and, acting as the client, provided details of a UK bank account in the client’s name for the transfer. Although the platform queried the instruction because the details did not match those held on the system, the advisor asked that the withdrawal proceed. And it did! The fraudsters got away with £250,000!
At no point was the client contacted by phone to make sure that the request was legitimate. We would have hoped that alarm bells would have been ringing loud and clear at the mention of foreign bank accounts, solicitors firms that don’t exist and the fact that the new details didn’t match the old, but clearly not.
The moral of the story is that we will always ring you. Any emailed requests for withdrawals will be verified by a phone call from us, so don’t be surprised to hear from us, even though you may have clearly stated what you need, when you need it, and how you need, it in your email.
We will do everything we can to protect your details but please also help us – if you notice that something is not quite right or is out of the ordinary, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and let us know. Better to be safe than sorry.
Tax Returns … don’t get caught out
So it’s that time again! Now, it’s very rare to find anybody who actually likes completing their tax return, so when it arrives in the post you look at it, think “I’ll do that later, it’s not due for ages”, put it in “the drawer” – and it never sees the light of day again.
Well don’t get caught out. HMRC are hot on those who don’t file their Tax Returns and are quick to hand out fines – shockingly so, considering how long it takes to get through to them on the phone.
If we’ve put a Trust in place for you and you’ve had a request for a Trust Tax Return but haven’t the foggiest how to complete it, please get in touch with us. We can give guidance on how to complete the standard Trust Tax Return and can advise on more complicated circumstances.
If you haven’t received a request you are most definitely one of the lucky ones. If you have and you don’t want to do it yourself, let us know and we will get our specialists in touch with you.
Just don’t forget the deadline: 31st October 2016.
Is there light at the end of the “property freeze” tunnel?
We have been informed that the suspension on the Threadneedle UK property fund is due to be lifted on 26th September and the fund will be trading in full again by the time you read this (if all goes to plan).
Threadneedle are not alone, with Aberdeen Asset Management and Canada Life following suit and lifting the freeze on their property funds now that the market has stabilised and enough liquidity has been restored to the funds.
At the time of writing, Standard Life who we largely invest in, have just announced that they will be lifting the suspension of their fund on 17th October! Yay! They will allow trading to resume as normal soon and so any funds that have recently been ‘locked away’ are now free to be accessed.
Autumn Statement date announced
So the date for the Autumn Statement has been set: 23rd November!
Who knows what the new Chancellor has in store for us this time, but he has been saying he has big plans to “reset” Britain’s economic policy, whatever that means. As some people think that there was no plan in place for Brexit, there will be an element of “winging it” involved.
Either way, we won’t know what the government plans to introduce, change or get rid of completely until the announcement itself. With the US election pending and Article 50 on the horizon it is more than likely that there will be little change at this time to avoid rocking the boat even further.
HMRC get tough
HMRC have signalled that they plan to ramp up penalties for offshore tax evaders as there seem to be more and more cases of tax evasion reported throughout the media.
From October this year, HMRC will collect more data from places such as the Isle of Man, Guernsey, Jersey and other overseas territories where investors may hold their investments. Fines of up to three times the amount of tax originally due will be imposed as a deterrent to those considering evasion methods.
People have been given a reprieve and have been told to “fess up” and pay the tax they owe before they are caught and slapped with hefty fines, and HMRC seem determined to catch the evaders out.
Perhaps those who evade paying their tax don’t realise the strain it puts on other tax payers, the vast majority of whom will pay their tax in full and on time. Hopefully this is the start of the end for tax evasion and HMRC will stick to their word about tougher sanctions and, in doing so, make tax evasion sufficiently unappealing to wipe it out completely.
Book of the month
This month’s book is one everyone should read, and should read now if they want to be well informed about a man who has a real chance of being the next leader of the free world. Trump Revealed by Marc Fisher and Michael Kranish is the story of Trump’s life and how he got to be who he is. The authors are journalists from the Washington Post, and all their comments and details are backed up with thorough research, which takes up about one-third of the book in the appendix. You really will not believe what you read… if only the US voters would read this book!
Best Savings Selections
Top Three No Notice Accounts without Bonus
|Name||Contact||£1 Gross %||£500 Gross %||£1k Gross %|
|RCI Bank UK||www.rcibank.co.uk||1.00 (min £100)||1.00||1.00|
|Virgin Money||0845 600 4466||1.00||1.00||1.00|
|ICICI Bank UK||Via branch||1.14||1.14||1.14|
Top Three Monthly Interest Accounts
|Name||Contact||£1k Gross %||£5k Gross %||£25K Gross %|
|Charter Savings Bank (60 Day Notice)||www.chartersavingsbank.co.uk||1.19||1.19||1.19|
|Charter Savings Bank (95 Day Notice)|| www.chartersavingsbank.co.uk
|ICICI Bank UK||Via branch||1.14||1.14||1.14|
Top Three Cash ISA’s
|Name||Contact||£1 Gross %||£10 Gross %||£100 Gross %|
|Clydesdale Bank||0800 222426||n/a||n/a||1.50 (min £15,000)|
|Yorkshire Bank||0113 807 2000||n/a||n/a)||1.50 (min £15,000)|
|Al Rayan Bank||0845 6060 786||n/a||n/a||1.55 (min £250)|
Please check with the terms and conditions before opening any account. If in doubt consult with your financial adviser directly as the above are for information only.
Source: Moneyfacts Magazine October 2016 Edition