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Charles Stanley

COVID-19: We’re here to help

In light of the uncertainty we are all facing in our daily lives with the outbreak of COVID-19 coronavirus, I wanted to personally reassure you that Charles Stanley has taken a number of steps to ensure we are operationally and financially prepared for all scenarios. 

Charles Stanley remains a financially sound business with capital and liquidity well in excess of minimum regulatory requirements. As at 30 September 2019, our last published figures, Charles Stanley had cash balances of £77.9 million, no borrowings and a regulatory capital solvency ratio of 206%, putting us in a robust position.

 

My Charles Stanley
View the latest information about your accounts and communicate with your Investment Manager with secure two-way messaging.

Charles Stanley Direct
For clients of Charles Stanley Direct, our online DIY investment platform, please use the above link to log in instead.

Paul Abberley
Chief Executive Officer

My absolute number one priority is the safety of our clients and staff.


 

1 April 2020 - Listening to you

As we are all settling into a new way of living and working, we have been listening to your feedback and consequently, I wanted to highlight a few things that I hope will be of interest:

Staying connected

Some of our staff have already been helping clients in self-isolation and we have been looking at new and innovative ways to keep in touch and stay connected.  To help we have launched a new community page.

Whether you need a phone call just for a chat, someone to drop off essential groceries or medication if you are unable to go out yourself, or if you are able to offer a helping hand to someone else or would like to contribute an article, just complete the form on our website, email us at [email protected] or speak to your usual Charles Stanley contact.

Emails  

A number of people have said they would now prefer to receive less physical post both for health reasons and because the postal system is becoming more erratic.  If you are not already doing so, you can use our online client portal, My Charles Stanley, which offers secure two-way messaging.  Alternatively, make sure your Charles Stanley contact has an up to date email address for you. 

Cheques

In line with social distancing guidelines, banks are discouraging people from visiting branches to pay-in cheques.  Therefore, from 6th April we will only be making electronic payments, which will not only reduce health risk but will also ensure accounts are credited more quickly. 

Client assets

For your peace of mind, we highlighted that despite the current climate, Charles Stanley remains a financially sound business with capital and liquidity well in excess of minimum regulatory requirements. 

As a further reassurance, all client assets (both your investments and any un-invested cash) are held in trust with leading banks and credit institutions and are carefully ring-fenced.  Therefore, the position of Charles Stanley itself won’t impact their security as they are kept separate from those of the company.  For added protection, we don’t place the money with a single bank, and it is divided amongst a number of institutions.  Further information can be found on the security of your investments page.

Market update

Last week was a volatile, but more positive week for global equities, as indices staged a rebound from the recent sell-off.  For our latest detailed market commentary read the section below

If we can do anything else to alleviate any concerns or to help make life any easier, please don’t hesitate to let us know.  As we enter a new tax year, we have compiled a checklist of financial activities to consider completing.

Checklist

In the meantime, please continue to take care of yourselves and stay safe.

My previous note


 

Update on current market developments

1 April 2020

Over the last two weeks, equity markets recovered some of the heavy losses sustained during the first half of the month. From the lows of 13th March, the FTSE 100 has rallied 15% and the S&P 500 has gained an impressive 20% after the US administration successfully passed an impressive $2.2trn fiscal stimulus package. In addition, the US central bank, the Federal Reserve (Fed), increased its commitment to support the market by stating that it will purchase as many US government bonds as would be necessary to support the US economy and restore the proper functioning of financial markets.

Elsewhere, the Fed has also taken steps to increase the supply of US Dollars to overseas central banks in order to ease funding pressures experienced by US Dollar borrowers. It has intervened in the US corporate bond market for the first time. Outside of the US, we have already seen a substantial easing of fiscal policy in most major economies (including the UK) augmented by easier policy rates and quantitative easing (purchases of bonds). 

Taken together, the speed, size and breadth of this global policy response to the economic and financial market effects of the measures taken to suppress COVID-19, exceeds what was seen in the global financial crisis of 2008/9, and financial market participants have rightly taken note.  Adding to the better tone has been buying of stocks by investors who wish to maintain the relative weight of equities in their portfolios versus bonds, which have generally held up much better.

However, we are about to enter the most rapid and deep global recession seen since the Second World War. As a result of governments’ actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 large swathes of the global economy are in shut-down mode and corporate revenues in many sectors have collapsed. We are only beginning to see data on economic activity, corporate profits and dividends and the worst is likely to be several weeks, if not months, ahead of us.

Against this background, it is too early to call an end to the financial market stress and volatility which we have witnessed since late February.  Aside from the need for positive news flow on COVID-19, we feel that more of the impact on the corporate sector needs to be socialised with investors before the equity markets can begin to build a firm base from which they can stage a meaningful recovery.

However, optimists would highlight that financial markets are adept at discounting the future. As a rule, equity markets tend to find a firm footing roughly one quarter before the end of a recession and we are working hard to gauge the length as well as the depth of this current economic downturn to give us the signal to buy.

Covid-19: We're here to help

Supporting you through these challenging times

At Charles Stanley, it is business as usual and we are fully operating. Our dedicated teams continue to be available to answer any questions or concerns and provide the personal service and exceptional levels of customer care you need.

Keeping in touch

All our staff can access their office phone and email and will continue to receive calls and emails as usual.

Making deposits

Where possible, please do not to send cheques in the post. Instead, please pay via bank transfer. To prevent fraud occurring, please do not e-mail your bank details, please share them over the phone, via text or through My Charles Stanley.

Sending documents

Our offices remain open to receive post but with a much-reduced staff presence. Therefore, ideally if you need to send any documents to us for any reason, if possible, please can you send them digitally.

Latest news & opinion

Garry White, Chief Investment Commentator, looks at the market-moving events that have shaped equity markets this week (30 March to 3 April 2020).
Features: 03/04/2020

Last Week in the City: Unemployment soars

Garry White, Chief Investment Commentator, looks at the market-moving events that have shaped equity markets this week (30 March to 3 April 2020).

Radio
Radio: 03/04/2020

Episode 1: Fireside chat with Paul Abberley

Launching Charles Stanley Radio. In our first episode we speak with our CEO, Paul Abberley.

Fallen dominoes on pound, euro and dollar bank notes.
Features: 03/04/2020

Mass unemployment reveals damage to leading economies

As we await positive news about a waning of the virus threat, we live in highly volatile markets subject to large moves based on what governments do and say.