H F B Financial Planning

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by H F B Financial Planning'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 H F B Financial Planning 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
Founders Neil Swainson and
Michael Speakman
As directors of HFB Financial Planning Ltd, both Michael
Speakman and Neil Swainson boast a wealth of experience
within the financial and banking sector. Their strength lies
principally with their highly experienced and committed team of 13
advisers throughout the UK – the majority of whom have been with
HFB since its inception. Their shared values and clear vision are simple:
put clients’ interests at the heart of everything you do. HFB provides
holistic, family and business financial planning, offering tailored
financial advice for clients’ specific needs. Neil tells
The Parliamentary
what is required of him and the business in today’s world.
Where things began
HFB formed in 2013 as a direct result of changes within the financial services and
banking industry. In 2016, HFB acquired Rutland Financial Services, which helped us
to grow our existing client base while expanding our geographical footprint.
Five years on and the industry undoubtedly still faces new challenges to come, with
shifts in regulation, new technologies, social change and political uncertainty. We
must embrace these changes in the future and turn them into opportunities for our
business and the clients we serve.
Shifts in regulation
The demand for financial advice is ever increasing, but there is a serious shortage in
the number of qualified advisers in the UK. On top of this, a lack of newly qualified
advisers is an ongoing challenge in our industry.
The introduction of the Retail Distribution Review at the end of 2012 provided a set
of rules aimed at introducing more transparency, fairness and professionalism in the
investment industry. The most significant of these changes was a new minimum level
of qualification required by financial advisers and to ensure advisers made decisions
based on clients’ interests, rather than product commission. These changes have
indisputably been positive and were long overdue, but it has meant a significant
decline in qualified financial advisers.
In 2018, we saw the introduction of increased privacy laws through GDPR and the Markets
in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II), which provided a new legislative framework to
strengthen investor protection and improve the functioning of financial markets, making
them more efficient, resilient and transparent. This legislation aims to improve client
protection, which it has, but it has also brought about additional administrative cost to
firms, as does the increased cost of professional indemnity insurance. These ever-changing
regulation changes have increased the overall cost of providing advice to clients.
These increased costs along with the demand for qualified financial advisers has
ultimately driven up the cost of financial advice across the industry. Sadly, this has
meant that, for some clients who require financial advice, it is simply unaffordable
or they are unwilling to pay for it. This is a major challenge that our industry needs
»Founded by Neil Swainson and
Michael Speakman
»Established in 2013
»Headquartered in Derby
»Services: Financial advisers
(holistic, family and business
financial planning)
»No. of advisers: 13
»Managing in excess of £150
million of clients’ assets
HFB Financial
Planning Ltd
Working together to
find tailored solutions
to address to ensure that everyone,
young and old, can access professional
financial advice when required.
To help navigate the changing regulation
and financial services landscape, HFB,
along with many smaller adviser firms,
operates under a network. Our network,
Intrinsic Financial Planning, provides us
with vital back office and compliance
support allowing us to provide the right
financial outcomes for our clients.
New technologies
Everyone is increasingly dependent on
technology – we cannot escape it. At
HFB, we have always tried to integrate
technology into the way that we work
with our clients. Nothing will replace the
personal relationship between an adviser
and their client, but the better advisers
will fully embrace this new technology to
further enhance the relationship. We are
increasingly using video conferencing as
a way of maintaining regular and cost-
effective face-to-face client contact.
We have increased the use of platform
accounts for clients’ investments and
pensions. This helps us to consolidate
existing arrangements into one place,
allowing both the client and the adviser
greater transparency and ease of access.
Clients who have less complex
financial planning needs may require
a more cost-effective advice solution,
commonly known as “robo-advice”.
By partnering with Old Mutual Wealth,
HFB is able to provide a simplified online
advice process that helps clients invest
into single solutions such as anISA.
Online automated advice technology is
unlikely, on its own, to replace financial
advisers – there will always be a need
for clients to meet face to face with
advisers, especially when undertaking
complex financial planningissues.
Social change
The increasing average age of the UK
population presents a challenge to our
clients and the country as a whole.
Pension freedoms legislation, introduced
in 2015, allows clients to access their
pension plans in a more flexible way. It
has meant that the need for ongoing
financial advice into retirement is now
more important than ever. Gone are
the days when most clients reached
retirement, purchased an annuity and
passed on the responsibility of their
ongoing pension income to an insurance
company. Clients are now more likely
to want to manage their own income
requirements and pass whatever is left
from their pension to their dependents
when they die. Bearing in mind the
ongoing increase in life expectancy, most
clients will need advice to ensure that
this ongoing income can besustained.
The baby boom generation are now the
wealthiest people in society, with home
ownership and pension and investment
portfolios commonplace. Ensuring that
their assets are passed on to their children
and dependents is high on their financial
planning agenda. The most tax-efficient
way clients are likely to achieve this is
through the services of a financial adviser.
An increase in life expectancy has also
increased the need for effective long-
term care planning. This is an area of
advice that needs to be dealt with in a
considerate and sensitive manner, and
one which requires specialist face-to-
face financial advice. We understand
and appreciate the emotional stress
surrounding the care of a loved one, as
well as the financial worry of funding the
cost of long-term care (that can deplete
assets and reduce any inheritance).
The future
At HFB, we ensure our clients are
put at the heart of everything we do.
Our business will continue to grow,
overcoming the challenges posed by the
rapidly changing environment within
which we operate. We will continue
to embrace technology and use it to
enhance our clients’ advice journey,
while also providing the face-to-face
relationship our clients enjoy. We look
forward to the future, embracing it with
a sense of positivity and optimism.
At HFB, we
have always
tried to
into the way
that we work
with our


This article was sponsored by H F B Financial Planning. 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