DP's Financial Advice & Services

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by DP's Financial Advice & Services's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from DP's Financial Advice & Services is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles


Highlighting best practice
David Parkinson and David,
senior partners
DP’s Financial Advice & Services are a small professional
independent advice company based in the Midlands with
offices in Nuneaton and Solihull. First established in 1999,
the senior partners are David Parkinson and David Parnell, who
between them have over 58 years’ expertise in financial advice.
The company specialises in wealth management, which covers
pensions, retirement planning, options, investments, equity release,
long-term care, trusts and legacy planning. In what follows,
Parkinson and Parnell describe their company and its practices.
Who we are and what we do
Before getting into the ins and outs of the company, it’s worth giving some
context to us – the people behind the company. David Parkinson is the defined
benefits pensions specialist and advises on potential final salary pensions and is
highly qualified in this area. David Parnell is the taxation and trusts specialist and
advises on trusts and legacy planning. We’re both partners and are fully qualified in
investments, retirement planning and the wealth preservation area.
“Add value, save time and money” – this is our mantra at DP’s Financial Advice
& Services. If we cannot achieve at least one of these, there is no point using our services.
This is not a gratuitous company slogan; it really does come down to these three points.
The success of DP’s has been achieved by hard work and integrity shown from the
outset. We have had numerous challenges since our inception and have adapted
and evolved to meet numerous regulatory, legislation and provider product changes
over the years – all against the background of fluctuations in financial markets.
Looking forward, the continuing challenge will be how to continue to provide a
quality review to new and existing clients against a background of retrospective
changes in compliance requirements, new tax policies and other legislation. Add
the growing culture of assuming that services are free and one can see that life for
independent and impartial professional financial advisers is interesting.
Since the Pension Schemes Act 2015, we have seen demand for our services
increase by 50 per cent over the last two years. The challenge of meeting this
huge increase in demand was to ensure that we maintain the highest levels of
professionalism and customer service.
Overall, we see the Pension Schemes Act as a positive development, enabling consumers
to take control of their own financial destiny into retirement. There is now no reason
for consumers not to save for their own retirement with the additional incentive of,
potentially, passing on the wealth they built up to their children and beyond.
We strongly welcome the implementation of auto-enrolment, which compels
employers to offer the vast majority of employees access to a pension scheme
along with contributions from both parties. To date, this would seem to have been
»Senior partners: David
Parkinson and DavidParnell
»Established in 1999
»Based in Nuneaton,
Warwickshire and Solihull,
West Midlands
»Services: Independent financial
»No. of employees: 6
»Our aim: Add value, save time
and money
DP’s Financial
Advice& Services
a successful roll-out with “opt out”
rates far smaller than feared. It has
created a culture of saving towards
retirement, with a large number of
employees choosing to contribute over
and above the minimum compulsory
contribution levels. The launch of
“NEST” (the workplace pension set
up by government) helped many small
employers as, for many life offices, the
contributions would have been below
their minimum levels. However, we
feel that the role of NEST needs to be
clarified to ensure that it does not seek
to become a financial adviser.
The legislative requirement for consumers
to have to seek advice in connection with
“small pots” of £30,000 or above is a
sensible safeguard. Similarly, those within
defined benefit schemes (which often
contain valuable guarantees) need to
proceed carefully to avoid costly errors.
This ensures that individuals receive
advice on the best way for them to
access their pensions in an efficient
manner. This does mean that there is a
cost to the consumer, but one that we
believe is worthwhile – as the outcomes
often lead to them being financially
far better off. For those with smaller
amounts, this requirement is often
perceived as a cost to them that they
should not have to pay. However, on the
whole, by the end of the process they
do see value in seeking independent
and impartial advice and regard it
as an investment in their future. The
government did set up a system to
allow consumers to use an amount of
their pension fund to pay for/towards
obtaining advice. This is not widely
publicised, so not many are aware. With
that said, a lot of providers’ contracts will
not facilitate this fee option. This perhaps
needs to be revisited with something like
a voucher system that’s centrally funded.
The potential implications for those
seeking to access pensions while
remaining in work can be volatile,
and are a real reason to seek financial
advice. This is best displayed in the
circumstance of tax-free cash via
flexible access drawdown: it brings
with it the unintended consequence of
the “special allowance” investable into
a pension becoming restricted to only
£4,000 per annum.
For those looking to withdraw a large
amount, there is also the “month one”
taxation of benefit, which could lead to
a large amount of what they thought
they would get going to HMRC instead
– although it is possible to claw this
back in the future.
European legislation, MiFID II, has as
its ideal transparency, and it’s good
in principle but becoming a challenge
to administer. The intention of this
legislation is sound; however, providers
lack information or systems in place to
help us comply, causing strains on time
and resources. We believe this is causing
information overload for clients and no
actual benefit for consumers at present.
Investment offices are now more
transparent, and it will lead to a review
of charges on funds, which could be a
good thing for clients in the future.
GDPR is a much-needed revamp of
protection of data, and recent high-level
public cases in regards to cybersecurity
have put in the spotlight the need
for this. However, this again means
we need new software or hardware
to fulfil these obligations, which is
another tension on time and resources.
Either MiFID II or GDPR would be
enough at one time – they stand alone;
but two projects for a small company
to comply with in a relatively short
period is very challenging, certainly
time consuming and costly.
One thing that is certain: the public
need face-to-face, personal service and
advice more than ever. There is plenty
of information (and misinformation)
online, but nothing is better than
dealing face to face with an adviser
who takes the time to understand
the client’s needs and aspirations
and offers impartial, unbiased and
professional advice with integrity.
One thing that
is certain: the
public need
service and
advice more
than ever


This article was sponsored by DP's Financial Advice & Services. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister