30Nov

MOJ issues new regulatory bulletin for CMCs

The November 2016 bulletin for claims management companies (CMCs) from the Claims Management Regulator at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) contains reminders of issues covered in previous bulletins, but also addresses some new topics.

Something certainly being mentioned for the first time is the issue of holiday sickness claims. The regulator uses its November bulletin to highlight that assisting with claims from people who have become ill whilst on holiday is an activity that requires authorisation. Once authorised, companies conducting this type of claims activity are subject to the same rules as all other CMCs. The regulator is particularly concerned that holiday sickness claims companies are approaching potential clients in person, or are failing to obtain consent before targeting individuals with direct marketing material. These practices constitute a breach of the MoJ’s rules. According to the bulletin, some companies are simply randomly contacting people who have recently been on holiday. Holiday sickness claims companies are also reminded that they need to inform the MoJ of any new trading names or website addresses they use. The MoJ says it is working with the Association of British Travel Agents to tackle unauthorised claims activity in this area.

CMCs are also alerted to two recent judgements by the Advertising Standards Authority. The first said that when a CMC quotes in its marketing material an average amount claimed back, it must include unsuccessful cases as well as successful ones. For example, if five clients succeed in claiming £2,000 but five more are unsuccessful, then the average claim amount must be quoted as £1,000, not £2,000.

Secondly, CMC Claim4you Ltd, trading as Free PPI Check, was censured for quoting figures for amounts claimed that did not reflect the actual amount received by the clients. The amounts quoted were the sums of compensation granted by the banks, but did not take account of the 25% share of the payout claimed by the CMC.

CMCs are then asked to take note of the new Privacy Notice Code of Practice, issued by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The example given in the MoJ bulletin asks that companies ensure clients know for what purposes information collected via the company website could be used for.

The next section of the bulletin also addresses an issue that is concerning the ICO, the data protection watchdog. Companies that collect information via cookies must ensure that they: inform people of the existence of the cookies, explain their purpose, and obtain the permission of the relevant individual to store a cookie on their device.

CMCs are advised to sign up for information updates from the ICO
.
Finally, companies were reminded that they need to inform the MoJ within 20 working days should there be any changes to their business activities. The circumstances in which a notification is required include: taking on work in a new sector, using a new trading name, and adopting new marketing methods.

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article.

28Nov

Government sets out how it is improving access to financial services

HM Treasury has issued a press release outlining seven ways the Government is aiming to improve consumers’ access to financial services.

These seven ways are:

• Opening a consultation into amending the definition of regulated advice used under the Regulated Activities Order. The intention is to amend this legislation so that only advice which involves giving a personal recommendation to a client will be classed as regulated advice. The simple act of an authorised firm giving general guidance to an individual would no longer be regarded as regulated advice
• The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has set up an ‘Advice Unit’, which is currently working with nine firms to assist them with the development of online advice systems
• From April 2017, the first £500 of the cost of any pension advice arranged through an individual’s employer will be exempt from National Insurance and tax
• From the same date, it is anticipated that consumers will be permitted to withdraw £500 tax free from their defined contribution pension pot before the age of 55, so that they can put the money towards paying for retirement planning advice
• By 2019, consumers will have access to a Pensions Dashboard, where they will be able to see the value of all their separate pension pots in one place
• Before the end of 2016, the FCA will commence a consultation looking at options for reforming the funding of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). At present the FSCS – which provides protection for customers if their financial provider becomes insolvent – is funded by a levy to which all authorised firms must contribute.
• The Treasury has created a Financial Advice Working Group, made up of consumer and industry experts. This group is currently charged with: creating a guide to the top 10 ways to support employees’ financial health; producing documentation that will assist consumers to understand the difference between ‘guidance’ and ‘advice’ and decide which is appropriate for their circumstances; and examining ways in which consumers can be prompted to seek financial advice when they need it

Other recommendations of the Financial Advice Market Review – jointly set up by the FCA and the Treasury to look at issues concerning access to financial advice – include:

• The FCA should issue guidance to firms on how they can offer ‘streamlined advice’ and still meet regulatory requirements, guidance which should include a series of illustrative case studies. Firms have previously suggested they could limit the costs of giving advice if they were able to carry out ‘simplified advice’ focussed on a single need area, but have been wary of how the regulator and the Financial Ombudsman Service might view the matter
• Trainee advisers should be allowed to give advice under supervision for four years, up from the existing two and a half years, before being required to pass an appropriate Diploma qualification
• The FCA should work with the industry to look at reducing the length of suitability reports
• The FCA should review availability of professional indemnity insurance for smaller firms

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article.

25Nov

FCA caps early exit pension charges, while Government plans ban on pension cold calls

November 2016 has seen the announcement of two initiatives designed to improve consumer protection in the pensions arena.

Firstly, the regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has announced that exit charges on existing personal pension plans will be capped at 1% of their value. The rules, to be introduced from March 31 2017, will also apply to workplace group personal pensions and to self-invested personal pensions, and the restrictions will apply regardless of whether the planholder is taking benefits from their pension or is transferring their pension benefits to another plan.

Where a plan currently has exit charges of lower than 1%, the provider will not be permitted to increase these charges.

In addition, providers will not be able to impose any exit charges whatsoever on personal pension plans entered into after March 31.

This announcement is only of relevance to consumers who have reached the age of 55 – the age at which retirement savings can normally be accessed.

The Treasury had previously said that significant exit charges on personal pension contracts were a significant barrier preventing consumers from making full use of the Government’s pension freedoms. There have been reports of some providers imposing exit charges of as much as 30%.

The Department of Work and Pensions has suggested it is likely to extend the cap to occupational pension schemes from October 2017.

Christopher Woolard, Executive Director of Strategy and Competition at the FCA, said:

“People eligible for the Government’s pension reforms should feel able to access them as they wish. The 1% cap on early exit charges for existing pensions, and the 0% cap for new contracts, will mean that current and future savers will not be deterred by these charges from accessing their pension pots.”

Pensions Minister Richard Harrington MP said:

“We are restoring fairness and creating a level playing field in a system that has favoured the interests of providers over consumers for too long. This new cap will protect people’s savings from excessive charges, so more of their money will go towards the comfortable retirement they have saved for.”

Consumer groups also appear to have achieved a major victory in forcing the Government to ban cold calling related to pensions. The introduction of the pension freedoms led to a huge increase in calls from firms offering ‘pension review’ services or similar, and many of these ‘reviews’ are reported to involve scams or highly dubious attempts to persuade people to transfer their pension savings to very high risk investments. The Treasury estimates that UK consumers lost £19 million to pension scammers in the 2015/16 financial year.

Under the new plans, firms will only be able to make calls regarding pension services to clients with whom they have an established business relationship. This means they will not be able to cold call anyone who may simply have opted in to receiving marketing communications at some stage in the past. Firms that flout the ban could face fines of up to £500,000.

The Treasury’s statement on its proposals reads:

“Philip Hammond will use this week’s Autumn Statement [which was delivered on November 23] to announce the Government’s intention to ban pensions cold-calling, protecting millions of vulnerable people and cutting off the main route through which cowboys trick people out of their life savings.”

The Government will initially conduct a consultation on its proposals, before announcing the next steps in its Budget in March 2017.

Initially at least the ban will only apply to telephone marketing, but the Government is to look at extending it to texts and emails in the future.

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article.

24Nov

FCA publishes Lifetime ISA rules

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has opened a consultation regarding its proposed rules for the promotion and sale of the Lifetime ISA (LISA), which will be available to savers from April 2017.

Anyone under the age of 40 will be able to open a LISA. Contributions of up to £4,000 per individual per tax year can be made up until the age of 50, and the Government will top up any contributions by 25%, known as the ‘government bonus’. The product is designed to allow savers the choice of using the funds to either purchase a home, or save for retirement. If the funds are withdrawn before age 60, and are not then used for the purchase of a home of up to £450,000 in value, then a 25% penalty will be applied.

LISA contributions can be invested in cash, stocks & shares or a mixture of the two. The £20,000 overall ISA limit will remain in place, so savers who take out a LISA will still be able to contribute up to £16,000 to other forms of ISA in the same tax year.

The first thing that the regulator is anxious LISA savers understand is the potential to lose money if they don’t use the funds for a home or for retirement. Firms will need to ensure clients understand that if they contribute £4,000, have it topped up to £5,000 via the Government bonus, then withdraw the £5,000, the penalty will be £1,250 (25% of the total amount), leaving them with a final total of £3,750 and a loss of £250.

Other factors that must be explained to LISA clients include:

• If they choose to contribute to a LISA instead of a workplace pension, then they will lose the employer pension contribution
• How a LISA can be transferred to another provider
• The range of investments available within a LISA

Other areas of concern flagged up in the FCA paper include:

• Investors may not understand the differing features of a LISA and a pension plan, and may thus be unable to make an informed choice between the two
• Investors may not realise that, while access to a LISA for retirement purposes cannot occur until age 60, personal pension plans allow access at a slightly younger age
• Investors may not understand that higher rate tax relief, available at 40% on a personal pension plan to those earning in excess of the relevant threshold, could be more generous in real terms than the LISA government bonus.

As with other types of investment, LISA clients will need to be provided with an indication of what investment returns they might receive, and what the charges on the contract are. For many existing products, this is done via a personalised illustration or similar.

The regulator is proposing that clients have a 30-day cancellation period, except where the LISA is opened as a distance contract, in which case the cancellation period will be 14 days.

The consultation closes on January 25 2017.

It had been reported that the Lifetime ISA might not proceed, given that some well known providers had chosen not to offer it. In addition, the Chancellor who announced the scheme, George Osborne MP, is no longer in the role, but it appears that the Government remains committed to the initiative.

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article.

23Nov

Whiplash claims crackdown to go ahead

Contrary to reports earlier this year, the Government has announced it is to press ahead with a crackdown on the payment of compensation for whiplash injuries. The proposals could have a major impact on claims management companies and personal injury lawyers who handle motor accident claims.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is consulting on two proposals: ending the right to cash compensation for minor whiplash injuries altogether, or capping compensation for this type of injury at £425. The current average payout for whiplash is £1,850.

The Government also intends to raise the upper limit for personal injury cases handled by a small claims court from £1,000 to £5,000; and introduce a new requirement under which whiplash claims cannot be settled without a report from a MedCo accredited medical expert. The first of these proposals will also affect claims made for issues other than whiplash.

Justice Secretary Elizabeth Truss MP said:

“For too long some have exploited a rampant compensation culture and seen whiplash claims an easy payday, driving up costs for millions of law-abiding motorists.

“These reforms will crack down on minor, exaggerated and fraudulent claims. Insurers have promised to put the cash saved back in the pockets of the country’s drivers.”

Economic Secretary to the Treasury Simon Kirby MP said:

“One whiplash claim is paid out every 60 seconds and it is unacceptable that responsible motorists have to pick up the tab.

“We are tackling the incentives which have created this compensation culture so that all drivers can save money on their motor insurance policies.”

Whiplash claims have risen by 50% over the past decade, despite a substantial decrease in road accidents over the same period, leading to suggestions that bogus and exaggerated claims are being made.

The MoJ says that a number of major insurance companies have agreed to pass on the money they will save to their customers, resulting in a £40 reduction in the average annual car insurance premium.

Mark Wilson, chief executive of Aviva, said:

“Fraud is not a victimless crime and law-abiding motorists have paid for the UK’s dysfunctional and fraudulent motor claims system through inflated motor premiums for too long. Let me be clear: Aviva will pass on 100 per cent of the savings to our customers.”

It had been suggested that the fact George Osborne MP was no longer Chancellor, and the need for Government lawyers to devote their attention to Brexit-related issues would mean the whiplash clampdown would be put on hold. It now appears that this is not the case.

A spokesperson for law firm Thompsons Solicitors criticised the proposals, saying:

“Despite government figures showing that the number of injury claims are down, they have allowed themselves to be bullied by insurers into reviving hugely unfair plans to remove access to justice for the injured, without producing a shred of evidence to justify them.”

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article.

21Nov

P2P lending company to launch bank

Zopa, one of the UK’s largest peer-to-peer (P2P) lending firms, has confirmed it is to apply for a banking licence. Not content with being part of one of the fastest growing business sectors in the country, it is now branching out and seeking to compete directly with the high-street giants.

Although a P2P lending arrangement is very different from a savings account, and no P2P firm should ever suggest that lending money via P2P is in any way equivalent to saving, it is certainly the case that a number of investors have been attracted to P2P as the rates of return on their money are likely to exceed those available in savings accounts.

Now the firm has taken the idea of competing with high-street banks to another level. Zopa says its online-only bank will offer deposit accounts and overdrafts.

Deposits made with Zopa’s bank will be covered up to £75,000 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). The fact that there is no recourse to the FSCS for clients if things go wrong is currently one of the major downsides to P2P lending.

Zopa already has an agreement with Metro Bank in place, under which the challenger bank can lend its funds on the Zopa platform.

Jaidev Janardana, chief executive of Zopa, said:

“The regulatory authorities in the UK have created an environment that encourages innovation, the adoption of new technologies and an increase in competition in the banking sector.

“Zopa has a history of creating innovative retail-facing financial services, driving consumer choice and transparency. We are responding to the positive regulatory environment and building on our experience to bring yet more choice to the market.
“We have lent over £1.8 billion and inspired a £100 billion global industry.”

“We want to launch a next generation bank to drive greater choice for borrowers, savers and investors, which is good for consumers and good for the economy.”

The firm anticipates that it could take two years to receive approval from the regulators, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority, to operate a bank. A company spokesperson went on to say that he expected Zopa to suffer losses while the banking operation was being set up, saying:

“We don’t think we will remain profitable as the banking application requires a lot of capital investment, but we have got a very stable business and have proven we are able to attain profitability. Once we have launched we plan to return to profitability very quickly.”

Zopa announced it had returned to profitability in September 2016, following a four-year period of losses.

A former senior manager at Zopa was sceptical about the idea however. Bruce Davis, a co-founder of Zopa who went on to form P2P firm Abundance Investment, said:

“It is not something we would ever look at. What is missing isn’t more ‘challenger’ banks, it is investment products that are more long term, and exposing people to appropriate risk.”

It remains to be seen whether other banks will follow Zopa’s lead and enter the banking sector.

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article.

18Nov

CMC goes into liquidation amid concerns over clients’ fees not being refunded

Swansea-based claims management company (CMC) JAS Financial Services has gone into liquidation, leaving its clients unsure if they will be able to reclaim the fees they paid to the company.

The company, which traded as Litchfield Price, Hampton Rae and NLC Solutions, typically asked for an upfront fee of £300 to £500 before it would represent a client in a payment protection insurance (PPI) mis-selling claim. It promised to refund these fees if the claim was unsuccessful, but a number of the firm’s clients have claimed that their fees have not been refunded, after the company failed to make progress with their claim.

The clients’ concerns have been backed up by the Legal Ombudsman, which can adjudicate on complaints about CMCs where the client and the company disagree. In a statement in August 2016, the Ombudsman said:

“We have been advised by a number of complainants that, in the initial sales call, JAS told them that their claims would be resolved quickly, and that the upfront fee was refundable in the event that all claims were ultimately unsuccessful.
“We are concerned that, by failing to adequately progress claims, JAS are delaying payment of fees where a refund may be due.”
The Ombudsman also said that JAS was failing to keep clients informed as to the progress of their claims, which certainly constitutes a breach of the Claims Management Regulator’s rules.

The statement on the Ombudsman’s website listed its concerns with JAS as:

• Taking upfront fees, but then not adequately progressing claims
• Not keeping clients updated
• Regularly taking more than eight weeks to reach a decision on a complaint from one of their clients
• Failing to co-operate with requests for information from the Ombudsman

The statement also explained in detail the experiences of Mrs A, who paid £495 to JAS as an upfront fee. Of the four PPI claims she made, three were definitely unsuccessful, but as regards the fourth, the Ombudsman says “there was no evidence that the claim was ever submitted to the PPI provider.” The only update Mrs A ever received from JAS regarding the fourth claim came some four months after the start of her dealings with the firm, and this was an extremely generic email which read:

“We have received your documents back … we will generally send off the requests for information within the next 7 days … when we get the results in, if you have PPI then we will submit your claim … as soon as we do we will email you and let you know.”

Mrs A provided the Ombudsman with evidence that she had contacted JAS seeking updates on her claim, but the company was unable to demonstrate that they responded to these requests.

The Ombudsman decided that JAS, by failing to progress the claim and failing to keep her informed, had “essentially abandoned Mrs A’s claim.” It therefore decided that the fourth claim must also be regarded as having been “unsuccessful” and that the upfront fee must be refunded to her. JAS was also ordered to pay a further £100 to Mrs A as compensation for the inconvenience caused.

The company’s activities were also highlighted in the BBC Wales consumer affairs programme X-Ray.

JAS’s liquidator, McAlister & Co, has advised clients who paid their fee via credit card to contact their card provider. Under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, the card provider must provide protection for purchases of more than £100 in value.

Clients who paid by debit card should also contact their card issuer. Although section 75 only applies to credit card purchases, debit card clients can make a claim under the ‘chargeback protection’ facility. Any such claim must be made within 120 days of the client becoming aware of a potential problem.

A spokesperson for McAlister & Co said:

“We advise that customers contact their card company direct to get their money back where they paid by card. If not, customers can then get in touch with us and they will then be registered as a company creditor.”

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article.

17Nov

ICO imposes fine and Stop Now order on finance company for sending spam texts

London-based loan matching company Nouveau Finance Ltd has been fined £70,000 by data protection watchdog the Information Commissioner’s Office after sending some 2.2 million illegal marketing text messages over a six-month period. The firm has also been issued with a Stop Now order, meaning it could face criminal prosecution if it continues to engage in the illegal practice. The fine will be reduced to £56,000 if prompt payment is made.

Like so many firms fined by the ICO in recent months and years, Nouveau attempted to shift the blame to a third party marketing firm who sent the texts on their behalf. However, the ICO will never be persuaded by any such argument, as all firms who use third parties are required to conduct checks to ensure that the other party’s marketing activities are compliant with relevant legislation.

The text messages sent on behalf of Nouveau were not only unsolicited, but also failed to comply with the requirement to identify the sender within the message.

Section 22 of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations says marketing texts can only be sent to individuals who have previously given explicit consent to receiving such communications.

Section 23 requires the sender to be clearly identified within the message. However, a typical message sent by the marketing company on Nouveau’s behalf read:

“Lisa, are you in a tight spot? Make a simple application for Emergency funds! Visit www.txtcash.co/2cZ5o to get started. Reply STOP 2 end.”

As can be seen, it is far from clear who the sender of this message actually is.

Steve Eckersley, the ICO’s Head of Enforcement said:

“Relying on another company to do your marketing is not a get-out clause when it comes to the law. If your business has instigated a campaign, you are responsible and it’s up to you to make sure it meets the requirements of some very strict regulations.

“Our investigation found that despite relying heavily on direct marketing for its business, the company did not seem to understand the rules around electronic marketing and that’s not good enough.”

“The law is there for a reason, it’s to stop companies inundating people with unwanted messages. Nouveau Finance Ltd neglected its responsibilities and that’s why they received the fine and were told to halt the campaign.”

From April 2017 the ICO will be granted additional powers in this area. From this date it will also be able to impose fines on individuals who break the law regarding marketing communications. There has been concern that some firms who receive ICO fines are putting themselves into liquidation in order to avoid paying the fine, before the firm’s management then immediately start up again as a new entity. However, from next spring, the ICO will have the power to impose a penalty of £1 million or more for the same offence – £500,000 each to be paid by one or more directors and a further £500,000 by the firm.

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article.

15Nov

MOJ issues bulletin on third quarter enforcement action – 74 CMCs lose their authorisation

The Claims Management Regulator at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has issued a bulletin giving details of its supervision and enforcement actions during the third quarter of 2016.

Between July and September, as many as 74 claims management companies (CMCs) had their authorisations cancelled for various breaches of the rules. Two more companies were fined, 100 were warned and 12 more authorised companies had investigations against them opened during the three-month period.

The bulletin contains links to some of the fines and bans imposed by the MoJ during the period, which included:

• Paul Norton had his authorisation cancelled for multiple breaches of the rules regarding marketing practices. These included the requirements to: ensure referrals, leads and data sourced from third parties have been obtained in accordance with applicable legislation and other regulatory requirements; avoid cold calling in person; and ensure that the name of the company making a marketing communication can be clearly identified
• Reactiv Media Limited had its authorisation cancelled after serious breaches of four sections of the MoJ rulebook. These were: all information given to clients must be clear, transparent, fair and not misleading; if a CMC advises a client to pursue a case, it must be in the client’s interest to do so; CMCs cannot engage in personal cold calling; and a CMC can only use the term “no win no fee” if the client will definitely not have to pay other costs such as fees for not pursuing a case, disbursements or indemnity insurance
• Arb Advisory Limited was fined £119,500, principally for deficiencies in its complaints handling. Issues included: not having a written complaints procedure, failing to ensure all employees were aware of the complaints procedure and what it contained, and not maintaining records of all complaints received and making these available to the MoJ as required
• UKMS Money Solutions Limited was fined £50,000 for failing to ensure that referrals, leads and data were obtained in accordance with the regulator’s rules and applicable legislation

The regulator says it is also investigating the activities of 13 unauthorised CMCs, and that 28 companies had their websites shut down during the last quarter as part of the MoJ’s clampdown on unauthorised claims management activity.

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article.

14Nov

President Trump: what could it mean for the UK financial sector?

We now know that Donald Trump will become President of the United States, and de facto leader of the free world, in January 2017. The financial markets initially reacted with shock to the election result, so what might his election mean for the UK financial system?

Mr Trump undoubtedly conducted a divisive and outspoken campaign. A key part of his strategy was to suggest he will withdraw from, or seek to amend, a number of the US’s existing free trade deals. A closer examination of his beliefs though suggests that US-UK trade could be boosted by Mr Trump’s election. Mr Trump appears to believe that the US has been constrained by entering to trade agreements with poorer countries, such as Mexico, while he has spoken positively about his wish to do deals with the UK – this country will of course need to negotiate its own trade deal with the US and other major economies now that we are to exit the European Union. Mr Trump is a well-known Anglophile, with a Scottish mother and a number of investments in the UK.

Contrast this with the comments of current President Barack Obama that the UK was at the “back of the queue” when it came to negotiating a post-Brexit trade deal.

Economic research consultancy Capital Economics did not see the need to revise its growth forecasts for the UK economy following the vote – it still expects growth of 1.5% in 2017 and 2.5% in 2018.

Certainly, although the FTSE 100, Dow Jones Index and other major stock market indices fell sharply when trading opened the day after the result, their values recovered significantly later the same day, helped no doubt by the conciliatory tone Mr Trump adopted in his acceptance speech. The Dow then reached a record high two days after the result.

A poll by market research agency Opinium prior to the election revealed that four out of five UK financial advisers believed investment values would be adversely affected by a Trump victory, but so far at least this has not materialised. While there may still be some short-term volatility in the weeks and months to come, few analysts are suggesting that US stocks have now become a much more risky area in which to invest.

Michelle McGrade, chief investment officer at TD Direct Investing, said:

“While it is good to review your portfolio at these times of heightened volatility, it is important not to make any rash decisions.

“When markets fall they usually represents opportunities to buy not sell. And though this may be a shock, there is time to think and plan.

“The market volatility following Trump’s victory will lead to short-term trading opportunities so it will be worthwhile having some cash available to make the most of these; should this fit with your investment strategy.

“But the longer-term investor should hold their nerve and see how the dust settles.”

Any legislation Trump proposes will need to be approved by Congress, including anything which could have a negative impact on financial markets in the future. Although Trump was the Republican candidate, and the Republican Party now has a majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, many within the party are not entirely supportive of his agenda, and so Congress could still act as an important ‘revising chamber’ for some of his more daring proposals.

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article.

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