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Mid-week update: 25 March 2020

A message from Paul Abberley, CEO - with a business and market development update

People in office talking

Paul Abberley


Since our last update to you, we have seen further significant developments in the COVID-19 situation. 

In anticipation of the Government’s latest announcement, the majority of Charles Stanley staff have already been working from home, except for a select few permitted key workers whose job cannot be undertaken at home.  While these are extraordinarily testing times for all of us, we have prioritised the continuity of our services and so far, we have adapted successfully. We are determined to maintain service levels and are confident that we will do so.

With that in mind, we have also been busy putting in place some new initiatives to help where we can.

Throughout Charles Stanley’s 200-year history, we have helped clients navigate many storms and our own financial position remains healthy with a strong cash balance and liquidity.

We are aware that end of year tax planning and using all available allowances is now a priority for many, and others are focused on ways of reducing income or suspending withdrawals in a volatile market. Your investment manager can help maximise the use of your ISA allowances ahead of the new tax year and in many instances, our financial planning team is already working with some of you to review long-term plans. As always, your investment managers, financial planners and client service representatives are on hand to provide support. 

Staying connected

As well as staying in regular touch to provide advice and/or perspective around the impact of fluctuating markets, we have also been looking at other ways we can help

We have launched a new ‘Charles Stanley Community’ page to introduce new and innovative ways to keep in touch and stay connected.

Latest market update

I am sure that many of you are concerned by the continuing falls we are currently seeing in the markets, as volatility is always unsettling.  To put this in perspective, please visit our dedicated Covid-19: Coronavirus page for our latest update on market developments.  We will continue to post new information here, so please feel free to visit it regularly to get the latest updates from us. 

These are unprecedented times and I would like to thank our teams up and down the country for the tremendous work they are doing.   We will continue to listen, learn and adapt during this uncertain time.

My best wishes to you and your families and thank you for your continued support.

Read my previous note

A week ahead: 24 March 

My note from last week: We're here to help

We know that people’s day-to-day lives are disrupted, and we’ve been working hard to ensure we continue to provide the best possible service to you during this period. 

We have a dedicated team available at any time to answer your questions or concerns, so you know you have the support you need from us.  We have invested in the technology to ensure that our teams can work from home, so it is business as usual.  While face-to-face meetings are no longer recommended by the Government, they are on hand by telephone or email to keep in regular touch at your convenience. 

It is possible there may be delays in the postal services. To avoid unnecessary delays in the transfer of money, particularly around tax year-end deadlines, we recommend that money transfers are completed electronically rather than sending cheques.  Please get in touch if you need more details.

As a precautionary measure to safeguard our staff and guests, we are cancelling or postponing some of our planned events and we are contacting anyone affected. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. 

We have focused all our efforts and resources to ensure that we do everything in our power to support you in the most responsible ways possible. Our commitment to personal service and exceptional levels of customer care is as strong as ever.  

Turbulent markets

I appreciate these are worrying times for many of us.  Yet it’s important to keep level-headed when faced with a financial crisis.  In such situations, it’s often useful to look back, when trying to make sense of the future.  Markets do, and will, recover.

Over the last 35-years, there have been five occasions when the UK stock market has suffered a bear market, which is a 20% correction from the market’s peak.

We looked at where the index subsequently ended eighteen months from the point at which the FTSE100 entered bear market territory.  The average gain on the index (excluding dividends) was roughly 16%, and the only time when the FTSE100 ended the subsequent 18-month period lower was after the 2001/2 equity market selloff. 

While we cannot conclude that equity prices will necessarily be higher in 18 months’ time, investors with a long-term horizon should remain optimistic. 

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Our focus on clients has endured since the foundation of Charles Stanley in 1792 and has helped make us one of the UK's leading wealth management firms. Your interests give shape to everything we do.

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