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 RJB Financial Services is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.
RJB Financial Services
Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
24 | RJB FINANCIAL SERVICES
Mark Nind, managing
Mark Nind bought out the firm that became RJB Financial
Services in 2006 when its original owner moved towards
retirement. They are now a team of four: Mark himself,
as the adviser, along with director and part owner Sally, an
administrator, and a secretary. Based in Boston, they provide around
two hundred clients across the Lincolnshire area with advice,
mainly concerning retirement planning. The majority of their
clients are individuals, with a handful of small business owners.
They aim to remain honest, loyal and specialised across all they
do. Through yearly meetings they maintain a baseline of contact,
but ensure that, when required, they are there for their clients.
We offer independent financial advice to individuals and small businesses in our local
area. While we will provide advice across numerous different areas, the majority of our
work does come under the umbrella of retirement planning. We focus on pensions
alongside investments and inheritance tax planning – often, all three fields overlap.
We’re honest, first and foremost, and ensure that we collaborate and partner with
each of our clients to ensure they get the best advice. The supervision from the
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) does mean there is a lot of legislation concerning
the fair treatment of customers. We often find that a lot of what we do and the
values we adhere to dovetail quite nicely with FCA legislation.
As a lot of our clients have been with us since the beginning, we like to be
loyal to them, and we appreciate and value their patronage in return. Finally,
we have historically supported local charities and want to consistently remain
environmentally sustainable. We want to be active in our community.
Our turnover has gone up year on year, as has our profitability, but we have
focused on making all growth organic. As the industry has evolved, we have too.
The profession has changed considerably with new legislation and we have had to
adapt. While many advisers and firms seem to have struggled to cope with some of
it, because of our size, we have historically remained agile and coped.
A change in emphasis from initial to ongoing fees has come about as the business
has evolved, and trends have changed. We look after clients for the entirety of
their journey with us, but we feel that while this may limit scope for new clients, it
rewards both our loyalty and our customers. Further growth and expansion might
be feasible, but that means taking on more staff, which can pose its own problems.
AT A GLANCE
RJB FINANCIAL SERVICES
»Managing director: Mark Nind
»Incorporated in 2001
»Based in Swineshead, Boston,
»Services: Retirement planning,
investments, tax planning
and protection against the
financial impact of death or ill
»No. of employees: 4
RJB Financial Services
25RJB FINANCIAL SERVICES |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2018
Managing with what we’ve already got
and maintaining our current standing
is a realistic, rewarding place to be.
Regulatory ups and downs
We have recently become directly
authorised by the FCA, rather than
being an appointed representative. This
has generated an extra workload in
getting used to the new requirements.
Instead of relying on due diligence
from others, we have to do a lot more
ourselves. On the upside, however, we
now have a direct relationship with
the FCA, which has its own benefits
and drawbacks. A clearer, more open
dialogue is useful, but it comes at
the cost of more work. It’s a far less
prescriptive way of doing things with
the emphasis being on principle-based
GDPR, however, is, by definition, an
extra workload. Clients don’t pay extra
for it, and it takes up more time that
we could otherwise spend with clients.
It may be well-intentioned. There
isn’t any perceived benefit for most
clients, or, at least, a very minimal
benefit. It just provides us with further
administrative duties in the short term.
New FCA directives and discussion
documents are always an issue. I can’t
imagine a time when they turn around
and say that they’ve got too many
staff and regulation, and start cutting
back – we’re always more likely to get
more than less. It keeps you on your
toes. Government policy is the same;
for instance, if inheritance tax suddenly
vanishes – an extreme example – there
would be no inheritance tax planning,
and we would lose a massive chunk of
our business. Changes in legislation are
always a challenge.
Another real issue is education. A lack of
it can mean people take the burden on
themselves and refuse to go to advisers
or accountants. Quite often, they make
mistakes that could be fixed easily just
by speaking to somebody. For example,
with freedom of pensions, this can be
a real danger. People occasionally need
protection from themselves – in the
case of gamblers or addicts, short-term
decisions can detrimentally affect long-
term logic. We will advise and advise
and advise, but sometimes, people
will just make those decisions anyway
when they’re desperate.
Finally, we are starting to see the effect
of extended retirement age. People
are living longer, but not getting any
healthier – when they retire at 65,
without access to a state pension or
the ability to work, they can’t bridge
the gap. Without plans or savings it’s
difficult. Of course, there’s a reason
behind it, and we recognise that the
state pension is an expensive facility to
maintain, but more and more people
are working beyond age 65 than ever
The future of the business is unknown
at this stage. It’s difficult with a lifestyle
business to sell it or pass it on. Naturally,
we have become incredibly protective
of our clients, as we believe we know
how to deal with them. It’s not whether
or not they need you as much as it is
whether or not you need the clients;
but at the moment, the future is
uncertain. We want to wait and see,
and keep doing what we’re doing – it’s
profitable and it’s rewarding.
The Boston Stump
already got and
is a realistic,
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review
This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.
In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.
We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.
With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.
And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.
As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.