This week’s Personal Column features: 

Get the full picture: tip #008 | Gender pay gap widens for managers | Barclays introduces procuration fee for further advances | Need to get a case through quick? We’ve got the answers. | Cover Protection Adviser View 2017: results | Changing the way we underwrite | Landlord insurance is on the rise – get it right for your clients | Wealth Management Conference 2017 | Advice Quality Workshops | Thank you for attending a September Workshop | What’s the real cost of a good school? 

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Personal Touch News

Get the full picture: tip #008

Every week for the next two weeks, we’ll be bringing you tips on making sure you get the full picture with Insight.

This week we focus on reputation.

#008 Sales 

Some of the best sales opportunities come when customers are happiest. Sometimes that’s just after you’ve helped them create a solution for one of life’s many challenges. By checking the advice your business is providing is to the level you would expect, you can spot not only problems, but also new opportunities.

Find out more here.

Source: Personal Touch Update

Finance News

Gender pay gap widens for managers

Female managers in the UK earn close to £12,000 less on average than their male counterparts, new research has found.

The gender pay gap for the UK’s 3.3 million managers now stands at 26.8%, according to analysis by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and XpertHR.

The figure is considerably higher than the average of 18.1% for all workers, or 9.4% for full-time staff.

The CMI report was based on a study of more than 118,000 employees in 423 organisations.

It is based on new reporting requirements and includes salaries and bonuses, as well as benefits such as car allowances and commissions.

The gap last year, under the old rules, stood at 23.1%.

The gender pay gap is even higher in the Midlands, where male managers earn an average of £42,745 – almost a third more than the £30,038 figure for their female equivalents.

It is also above the national average North and North East of England, where male managers earn an average of 28.8% more than women, while it is lowest in Scotland at 21.5%.

CMI chief executive Ann Francke said: “Too many businesses are like ‘glass pyramids’ with women holding the majority of lower-paid junior roles and far fewer reaching the top.

“We now see those extra perks of senior management roles are creating a gender pay gap wider than previously understood.”

She said the figures underlined the need for the government’s new gender pay gap reporting regulations. They require UK companies with more than 250 employees to publish their gender pay gaps within the next year, starting with a snapshot at 5 April.

Just 77 of the 7,850 employers covered by the new rules have yet done so, the CMI said.

Its research also found that women are far more likely to occupy junior management roles than men (66% compared with 34%), while men hold almost three quarters of senior positions.

At director level positions, the gap widens even further to just over £34,000, with men earning an average of £175,673 and women just £141,529.

Source: BBC News (published 25 September 2017)

The article is now available to share with your clients! Here’s the link for you to share on social media:
How much has the gender pay gap widened?

Mortgage News

Barclays introduces procuration fee for further advances

Barclays have confirmed the introduction of a new 0.30% procuration payment on all new residential and buy-to-let further advance cases.

The lender was delighted to confirm the introduction of the payment in recognition of the efforts made by intermediaries when advising and completing on cases for this important segment of the market, and in deepening the relationships of their existing Barclays customers.

How does the new fee get applied?

The fee will be added to all applications submitted from Friday 22 September. No change to the current process is required. You should continue to select the ‘Further Advance’ procuration fee scheme from the drop-down option within the application system.

Rewarding for brokers and your Barclays mortgage clients

Don’t forget Barclays offer an exclusive existing customer reward rates, which are also available for further advance applications.

These products offer a variety of fee and rate discounts, plus extended loan to value and maximum loan limits.

Further Information

Please refer to your Barclays support team for more information, or visit

Source: Barclays e-newsletter (received 27 September 2017)

Need to get a case through quick? We’ve got the answers.

You’re in a rush, your client wants an answer on that AIP ASAP and you’ve got 10 minutes before your next appointment.

Do you pause for a moment and give us a call? Yes you do!

Accord’s Business Development Advisers will save you time by answering your questions and making sure you know exactly how to complete our online AIP to get the answer you need.

  • The phone will be answered in less than twenty seconds – often ten.
  • Most of our calls are done within two and a half minutes
  • Prefer online? Eleven of us have dealt with over 17,000 web chats this year

So we’re fast. But are we good?

88% of brokers scored us 9 or 10 out of 10 on our webchats and we consistently get good feedback in our service survey.  Brokers say we “go beyond the call of duty”, “exceed expectations” and “help get cases through”

Find out more here.
Accord e-newsletter (received 19 September 2017)

Protection News

Cover Protection Adviser View 2017: results


Earlier this year we began working with Cover to shed some light on the views of the UK’s protection advisers – focusing on what they felt were the key challenges facing them in 2017.

Together, Cover and Aviva gathered almost 300 responses, and as a result I’m pleased to be able to bring you the highlights of the ‘Adviser view’ for 2017.

Optimism for 2017

48% of respondents feel more or much more optimistic about their prospects for growth in 2017 than at the same point last year.

Perhaps one the most striking themes from the survey is that of optimism and relatively low concern for what are considered to be factors of ‘uncertainty’ in the wider business environment this year. Granted this was before the call of the snap election, but with 48% feeling more or much more optimistic about growth in 2017 vs 2016 this certainly indicated a buoyant mood within the market. A mood that doesn’t even appear to be dampened by the prospect of Brexit, which scores only 2 out 10 in terms of the expected negative impact.

Marketing is the key

Marketing was a key theme identified as being a skills gap, key challenge and target for investment.

With such optimism for growth, it should come as no surprise to see marketing featuring so prominently in a number of question areas. The results seem to point to the fact many advisers are aware they need to further invest in marketing skills and address the challenges presented the growth of digital marketing in particular.

This is certainly an area that we at Aviva are keen to support advisers in, and will be launching our very own ‘Marketing Mentor’ resources soon. I look forward to sharing more details of this in the near future.

One wish… less paperwork, less compliance, more time.

The final theme I wanted to highlight comes from the last question in the survey asking what advisers would wish for to help them to improve their enjoyment of the job. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a number of the answers focused on a theme of time, and having more of it – generally by reducing admin and regulation.

This is something that we’re focused on supporting advisers with, and we continue to invest in our online trading platform (ALPS) to ensure we provide a fast and efficient service – and by backing initiatives such as iGPR. We know there’s more that can be done, and we’ll continue to support you to spend more time helping more clients.

Listening to the views of advisers in the market is a fundamental part of our strategy. I hope you’ve found these results interesting and we look forward to engaging with more initiatives like this in the future.

Find out more here.

Source: Aviva e-newsletter (received 23 August 2017)

Changing the way we underwrite

We want to make buying insurance even easier for your clients, which is why we’ve made two significant changes to our underwriting philosophy.

Read our latest blog to find out what these changes are and how they will benefit your clients.

If you have any questions at all, just give us a call on 0345 600 6829.

Source: AIG e-newsletter (received 22 September 2017)

General Insurance News

Landlord insurance is on the rise – get it right for your clients

The number of buy-to-let products on the market have risen to 1,725 in September 2017, according to Mortgage Introducer – the highest number since December 2009. It’s also predicted that there are more than 1.75 million landlords in the UK.

Despite the upcoming legislation changes, which come into effect at the end of September, current figures show that landlord insurance is going from strength to strength.

Getting Landlord insurance right

With such a rise in demand, it’s crucial to make sure that you offer your clients the best landlord insurance in the market. This is where we can help:

  • Access to a fully integrated buy-to-let insurance quote engine through Toolbox
  • A panel of market-leading providers: Uinsure, Paymentshield, Legal and General
  • 5 Star Defaqto rated products
  • Instant cover when required
  • Instant availability of documents

If you require further information on available buy-to-let products, please call the member contact team on 0121 767 1002.

Source: Uinsure e-newsletter (received 26 September 2017)

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


Advice Quality Workshops

We’re launching a new kind of workshop…and you’re invited.

Your member competence consultant will be bringing an Advice Quality Workshop to a venue near you this October.

These events are designed to complement the September Workshops, giving you the tools to help you achieve your goals for the final quarter of 2017.

Attending a workshop will offer you support in improving file quality and first time pass rates. What’s more, they’ll give you:

  • Best practice guidance
  • Practical demonstrations
  • An opportunity to share ideas
  • Guidance on policies, processes and procedures
  • Support in reducing common issues raised by advice quality review
  • Demonstrations of how our technological initiatives can support you
  • Three hours’ worth of CPD

Dates, Locations and Venues

Dates Locations Venues
03/10/2017 Scotland MacDonald Hotel Uphall, Livingston, West Lothian EH52 6JS
04/10/2017 Basingstoke Apollo Hotel,
Aldermaston Roundabout,
Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG24 9NU
09/10/2017 Norfolk Ayton House 11-17 Ayton Road, Wymondham, Norfolk, NR18 0QQ
10/10/2017 Birmingham Trinity 3, Trinity Park, Solihull, B37 7ES
10/10/2017 Willerby (Hull) Mercure Hull Grange Park Hotel Grange Park Ln, Willerby, Hull HU10 6EA
10/10/2017 London (LDC) LDC, One Vine Street,
London. W1J 0AH
11/10/2017 Staffordshire Stoke Travelodge Stoke Talke Hotel, Newcastle Road, Talke, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST7 1UP
11/10/2017 South East Canterbury Holiday Inn, Upper Harbledown , Canterbury, CT2 9HX
12/10/2017 Newcastle Metropolitan House, Longrigg Road, Newcastle, NE16 3AS
12/10/2017 Birmingham Trinity 3, Trinity Park, Solihull, B37 7ES
16/10/2017 Widnes Select Security Stadium Halton, Widnes, WA8 7DZ
18/10/2017 Manchester TBC
18/10/2017 Colchester The Holiday Inn, Abbotts Ln, Eight Ash Green, Colchester CO6 3QL

Each workshop will last three hours, starting at 10:00 and closing at 13:00.

Secure your place using FOCUS.

Source: Personal Touch Update

Thank you for attending a September Workshop

Thank you for attending the recent Personal Touch Workshop. We’re delighted that you were able to join us and we hope you found the event useful and informative.

We’d like to take this opportunity to gather your feedback, in order to ensure we continue to get support from our provider partners for future events.

It’s important to identify key successes and areas for improvement so we’d be grateful if you could spare a few moments of your time to complete our short survey, by Friday 06 October. Once you’ve completed the survey, this will generate your CPD certificate for the event.


Source: Personal Touch Update

And Finally

What’s the real cost of a good school?

If you want to get your children into a top performing state school, you will need to fork out an average of £416,000 for a house. Lloyds Bank found house buyers paid over £180,000 more in areas with good schools in England, while similar research by Bank of Scotland discovered a £41,000 premium in Scotland.

Source: Money Advice Service Blog (published 25 September 2017)

The article is now available to share with your clients! Here’s the link for you to share on social media: 
What’s the real cost of a good school?