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A week ahead: 24 March 2020

A message from Paul Abberley, to reassure you that Charles Stanley remains operationally effective in our provision of services to you

People in office

Paul Abberley


Last week I sought to provide reassurance that our 220-year-old firm remains very well capitalised with plentiful cash and can thus focus fully on helping our clients navigate the financial markets aspects of the crisis.

The purpose of this note is to reassure you that Charles Stanley remains operationally effective in our provision of services to you. I appreciate it will not be your major preoccupation this week, but we take very seriously our stewardship role and the trust you place in us.

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.  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.   

While the precise nature of the current crisis was not envisaged, we do maintain and test regularly our “Business Continuity Plans” which are designed to help us navigate unforeseen circumstances. This enables a rapid shift in the way in which Charles Stanley is managed and provides a ready response to many of the challenges. While most incidents are immediate in nature, the Coronavirus crisis took three weeks to develop, which gave us invaluable time to prepare and acquire extra material such as additional laptops.

The nature of our work lends itself to remote and home working. Our capital equipment needs amount to little more than computers and data feeds, all of which can be installed in the homes of our staff, creating a virtual desktop. While we operate the length and breadth of the UK, all our locations are in areas with perfectly adequate broadband. Even when our staff need to isolate, health permitting, they can be operationally effective.

Our implementation of these contingency plans has been dovetailed with Government advice and we take our corporate social responsibility very seriously.

The Government and the Bank of England have moved with pace and flexibility to ensure that the UK financial services industry remains operational. We continue to receive the data feeds, communications and support from service providers to enable us to exercise stewardship and where so empowered, the active management of your assets.

It is hardly business as usual, and the financial markets themselves are extremely turbulent, but that notwithstanding, our staff continue to serve you and as ever, are at your disposal using the usual phone and email contacts. Naturally, we are trying to avoid physical meetings, as long as current Government advice persists.

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Please visit our news & opinion page for our latest market updates. 

On another note, I would also ask that you take particular care in relation to another threat – that of cybersecurity.  Criminals are stepping up their attempts to hack systems with phishing emails and telephone calls relating to COVID-19 or service disruption from internet and digital service providers, as just a couple of examples.  With that in mind, please do not supply us with your bank details by email and send them through MyCS or over the phone or by text.

I hope you all stay safe and well.

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