This week’s Personal Column features: 

Get the full picture: tip #003 | UK unemployment falls to new 42-year low | Equity release: social care and house values in the political arena | Enhanced criteria and improved processing | Accord brings you (possibly) the best product transfer process in the world – and a proc fee! | Our Newest Partner | Five ways we give more to your clients | Buy-to-let Opportunities | Wealth Management Conference 2017 | September Workshops: Agenda Announced | Tenth of young adults shun cash

Pre-approved Social Media Posts

Additionally, we’ve included some pre-approved social media posts that you can use on your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.

Simply copy and paste the link onto your social media blog.

Pass it onto your clients

Would you like to keep your client bank updated with all of this week’s news?

We’ve created a client-facing version that’ll do just that; click here to access a copy. You can also share the whole newsletter with your clients using this link:

Personal Touch News

Get the full picture: tip #003

Each week we’ll be bringing you tips on making sure you get the full picture with Insight.

This week we focus on referrals.

#003 Referrals

Word of mouth recommendations bring new customers with little effort, helping your business grow. Insight allows you to check there are no general frustrations or discrepancies you’re missing with the service you’re offering to your customers, to maximise referrals in the future.

Find out more here.

Source: Personal Touch Update

Finance News

UK unemployment falls to new 42-year low

Unemployment in the UK fell by 57,000 in the three months to June, official figures show, bringing the jobless rate down to 4.4% – its lowest since 1975.

The squeeze on real incomes continues to grow, though at a slower pace.

Average weekly earnings increased by 2.1% compared with a year earlier – slightly higher than last month’s 2% increase.

But with inflation standing at 2.6%, real earnings still fell by 0.5%, the ONS figures showed.

At 75.1%, the proportion of people in work is the highest it has been since 1971 – partly due to the introduction of a later state pension age for women.

There were 32.07 million people in work in the three months to June – 338,000 more than for the same period last year.

“The employment picture remains strong, with a new record high employment rate and another fall in the unemployment rate. Despite the strong jobs picture, however, real earnings continue to decline,” said Office for National Statistics senior labour market statistician Matt Hughes.

Jobs were created in the construction, accommodation and food services sectors and transport and storage industries.

Pay rises improved, up by 2.1% (excluding bonuses) compared with a consensus prediction of 2%. Maybe the economic theory was right after all – and pay is now ticking up because labour markets are tight.

It remains, however, a long way short of what would be required to trigger the sort of wage-price spiral about which central bankers have been hyper-vigilant since the 1970s.

That employees are prepared to accept wages that shrink by a tiny bit less than they did the last time these figures came out does not exactly bespeak a dramatic new assertion of workers’ bargaining power.

Ruth Gregory, UK economist at Capital Economics said the figures gave some signs that the tighter labour market was leading to a recovery in wage growth.

“Inflation is likely to fall back next year as the impact of the drop in the pound dwindles. What’s more, the tightness of the labour market should deliver further rises in nominal wage growth over the coming quarters,” she said.

The pound rose against both the dollar and the euro following the positive news on jobs, recovering some of the ground lost on Tuesday.

However, productivity – or output per worker – continued to decline, the ONS said, issuing preliminary figures for the second quarter. Productivity was 0.1% lower than in the first quarter and “remains at around the same level as its pre-downturn peak”.

The number of workers born elsewhere in the EU continued to increase, but the annual rate of change has slowed markedly, the ONS added.

The number of people on zero hours contracts as their main job fell 20,000 compared to a year earlier to 883,000 people.

Source: BBC News (published 16 August)

The article is now available to share with your clients! Here’s the link for you to share on social media:
How much has UK unemployment fallen by?

Mortgage News

Equity release: social care and house values in the political arena

As the debate continues about the elderly paying for social care using the value of their homes, Aviva’s free toolkit can help both qualified and non-qualified advisers attract new equity release business.

During the recent General Election campaign, we saw extensive media coverage devoted to social care and how elderly people should pay for it. From a financial planning perspective there is plenty to think about, such as:

  • What is the role of equity release in later life care?
  • How, why and when is it appropriate, and in what situations?
  • Which clients fit the equity release profiles?

Of course, recommending equity release can take substantial time and resources. Aviva have got that covered.

Grow your equity release network with Aviva’s referral toolkit.

If you are not qualified to recommend equity release products, or if you are already qualified, Aviva’s toolkit could be just what you are looking for. It has the potential to help you:

  • Make referral business easier and save valuable time.
  • Contact new professional connections and generate referrals.
  • Attract the right business partners.

Download your free referrals toolkit here.

Source: Aviva e-newsletter (received 07 August)

Enhanced criteria and improved processing

Precise Mortgages have made multiple changes to their criteria over recent weeks to help you place more of your cases. Did you know that…

  • For residential mortgages debt management plans no longer have to be satisfied on completion?
  • Their range of help-to-buy products can now consider debt management plans as a monthly commitment?
  • They now consider modern methods of construction, helping provide more options for new build customers?

To find out more click here.

To speed up applications they have also introduced a document certification form.

  • No need to sign every supporting document – one signature on a completed form confirms all documents have been checked and verified.
  • Can be used across their entire product range.
  • Click here to see the form.

ID and Residency documents must be certified individually. Click here to see their anti-money laundering guidelines.

To discuss a case contact Precise mortgages sales team by clicking here.

Source: Precise e-newsletter (received 07 August)

Accord brings you (possibly) the best product transfer process in the world – and a proc fee!

It might not be the best, but we reckon our process for residential transfers is pretty good!

  • It’s online and takes only a few clicks
  • The products compare well to new business pricing
  • You get a 0.30% gross procuration fee

Finding time to look after your existing clients can be difficult, so let us help. We launched a new online process for product transfers earlier this year and we’ve just made it even better:

  • Login to see your client’s current details including LTV, balance, current payment and term remaining.
  • You’ll only see the products your client is eligible for.
  • You can sort by on term, type and fee and compare monthly payments for the transfer products with the current monthly payment.
  • With a few clicks, you can request a transfer offer and make sure your client has the right deal for another few years.

And to recognise the work you do, we pay you a 0.30% gross procuration fee for all residential product transfers.

Visit our website to get started.

Source: Accord Mortgages e-newsletter (received 09 August)

Our Newest Partner

We’re delighted to announce HSBC as our newest partner to our market-leading panel. They will be opening their unique residential and buy-to-let proposition to you and your clients.

HSBC are committed to ensuring you receive the very best products and service, through collaborative working and by forging a strong partnership.

Check out their HSBC for Intermediaries website to learn about the services and features, which will let you get the most out of HSBC. You’ll be able to access an affordability calculator and BDM finder, as well as useful lender guides. Register here.

Whatever your query, HSBC’s knowledgeable team will be happy to help. Simply give them a call* on 0345 600 5847.

We look forward to a successful future together.

Source: Personal Touch Update

Protection News

Five ways we give more to your clients

Read our latest blog explaining the five benefits we offer which set us apart from other insurers and are included in most of our products.

Source: AIG e-newsletter (received 11 August)

General Insurance News

Buy-to-let Opportunities

The withdrawal of Let Alliance from the intermediary market brings a fantastic opportunity. You can re-broke any buy-to-let cases at renewal that are currently sat with them.

Following the introduction of our client-facing template renewal e-mails, through Virtual PA, this couldn’t be easier. Let Virtual PA do the initial work for you.

The e-mails are automatically generated and encourage your clients to get in touch, so you can do the shopping around for them. This saves you and your clients’ time, while supporting in client retention and ensuring your clients’ have the correct cover in place for their needs.

Providers available through our fully integrated buy-to-let quote engine in Toolbox are:

  • Legal & General
  • Paymentshield
  • Uinsure

For further guidance on Virtual PA, view a full demonstration or download the user guide below.



Source: Personal Touch Update

Wealth News

Wealth Management Conference 2017


Following the continued success of the Wealth Management Conference, we’re delighted to announce the date and venue for this October’s event.

When: Thursday 19 October 2017
Crowne Plaza – Stratford-upon-Avon 

In addition, registration is also open for you to secure your place.

Secure your place here!

Join your fellow wealth advisers, provider partners and Personal Touch staff for a full day and evening of networking and CPD education including:

  • Platform presentations from industry experts
  • Lively round table discussions
  • Unrivalled networking opportunities in our wealth exhibition

This year’s theme is investing through change; highlights include changes to:

  • Political and social factors – such as the uncertainties caused by Brexit.
  • Technology – the changes and opportunities by innovations.
  • Advice – due to new legislation and / or regulation
  • Horizons – clients’ long and short term investment horizons.
  • Circumstances and advice – clients’ material circumstances and the resultant investment advice.

For those of you joining us for the evening dinner, we’d also like to offer you complimentary accommodation. This will be for the evening of 19 October (to the morning of 20 October) at this fantastic venue.

Further Information
Look out for more details coming soon about the exciting agenda and the fabulous speakers who will be joining us.

We look forward to welcoming you on Thursday 19 October.

Source: Personal Touch Update


September Workshops: Agenda Announced

11 locations | 15 providers and lenders | 1 easy way to register

Our September Workshops are proving to be very popular and spaces are filling up fast! With that in mind, we wanted to help you secure your place as soon as possible.

In addition, we’re delighted to be releasing the agenda so that you can plan your day.


09:15 – 09:45 Registration, tea and coffee
09:45 – 10:00 Personal Touch update
10:05 – 10:25 Sponsor presentation
10:30 – 10:50 Sponsor presentation
10:55 – 11:15 Sponsor presentation
11:20 – 11:40 Sponsor presentation
11:40 – 12:00 Coffee break
12:05 – 13:25 Buzz sessions and question time (round tables)
13:30 Thanks and lunch

Don’t forget, these events are designed to help you maximise all of the opportunities in the buy-to-let market, following the recent changes.

So whether you’re mortgage, protection, general insurance, or wealth authorised, join us to find out more about the:

+ Recent changes and how they’re being dealt with by lenders
+ Impact on you and your clients
+ Protection opportunities in the buy-to-let market
+ General insurance opportunities in the buy-to-let market

Register today!

The Basingstoke Workshop is now full, but there’s still time to book your place at any of the other below workshops:

Dates, Locations and Venues

Date Location Venue
Tuesday 12 September 2017 Scotland Macdonald Houstoun House, Near Livingston
Wednesday 13 September 2017 Nottingham Nottingham Racecourse, Nottingham
Thursday 14 September 2017 Coventry Windmill Village Hotel, Coventry
Friday 15 September 2017 Bristol Holiday Inn, City Centre, Bristol
Tuesday 19 September 2017 Knutsford The Mere Golf Resort & Spa, Knutsford
Wednesday 20 September 2017 Luton Hampton by Hilton, Luton
Thursday 21 September 2017 Wetherby Wetherby Racecourse, Wetherby
Friday 22 September 2017 Essex Best Western Ivy Hill Hotel, Chelmsford
Tuesday 26 September 2017 FULLY BOOKED Apollo Hotel, Basingstoke
Wednesday 27 September 2017 London Victory Services Club, London
Thursday 28 September 2017 Newcastle Copthorne Hotel, Newcastle

Providers and Lenders

A mixture of the following providers and lenders will be attending each event:

We look forward to seeing you there!

Source: Personal Touch Update

And Finally

Tenth of young adults shun cash

A tenth of young adults shun cash and rely instead on cards and digital payments for their day-to-day spending, figures suggest.

More than one in 10 people aged between 25 and 34 used notes and coins no more than once a month last year, according to UK Finance.

The trade body for financial providers said nearly three million people rarely used cash.

But, across all age groups, cash remains the most popular way to pay.

The figures show that 6% of the UK’s adult population used cash no more than once a month last year, but this increased to more than 10% for 25 to 34-year-olds. The proportion drops to 2% for 55 to 64-year-olds.

At the opposite end of the scale, 5% of the UK adult population (2.7 million people) relied almost entirely on cash to make their day-to-day payments during 2016, UK Finance said.

This was relatively evenly spread across different age groups. However, people with lower household incomes were far more likely to rely mainly on cash compared with their more affluent counterparts.

More than half of all consumers who relied predominantly on cash during 2016 had total household incomes of less than £15,000 per year.

Cash accounted for 44% of all payments made by consumers across the UK last year.

One way the industry is tackling this is by reforming overdraft rules, which will hopefully mean that those falling unexpectedly into their overdraft won’t find it quite so difficult to get back out again. It’s also thought that lending rules could soon be tightened to discourage excessive borrowing, with the growth of unsecured debt now rising at its fastest level in years.

Source: BBC News (published 11 August)

The article is now available to share with your clients! Here’s the link for you to share on social media: 
How many young adults shun cash?