This week’s Personal Column features: 

Get the full picture: tip #010 | Personal Touch Workshop | Higher food and clothing prices drive retail sales growth | Recent Prudential Regulation Authority changes | PRA changes | Due diligence and the Aviva Platform upgrade | Become “GI Elite” – An introduction to our October campaign | Does your travel insurance cover and airline going bust? 

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Personal Touch News

Get the full picture: tip #010




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 development.

#010 Development

When you get verbatim comments from customers there’s nowhere to hide. All the training courses in the world are no substitute for lessons learnt through personal experience. Sometimes it can feel a little raw, but providing you learn from it and put things right, the same mistakes won’t be made again.

Find out more here.

Source: Personal Touch Update

Personal Touch Workshop


We are looking forward to seeing all registered advisers at the Wealth Management Conference on the 19th October 2017!

Highlights include:

  • Platform presentations
  • Lively round table discussions
  • Networking in our wealth exhibition and over dinner

Source: Personal Touch Update

Finance News

Higher food and clothing prices drives retail sales growth

Personal Column OctoberHigher prices for food and clothing prices driven up by the weak pound fuelled retail sales growth last month.

British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG figures showed that like-for-like retail sales rose 1.9% in September

That was far higher than the 0.4% increase for the same month last year. Total sales climbed 2.3%.

Much of this growth was due to price rises filtering through, particularly in food and clothing, said BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson.

“Retailers have worked hard to keep a lid on price rises following the depreciation of the pound, but with a potent mix of more expensive imports and increasing business costs from various government policies, something had to give at some point,” she said.

“Spending is still being focused towards essential purchases; with consumers buying their winter coats and back to school items, but shying away from big ticket items such as furniture and delaying the renewal of key household electrical goods.”

The survey showed that food sales rose by 2.5% on a like-for-like basis over the three months to September and 3.5% in total, while non-food sales rose by just 0.5%, or by 0.9% on a total basis.

Non-food sales in stores slumped 2% last month, and slid by 1.5% in total in the three months to September.

Yet online sales for non-food surged 10.7% in September – well above the three-month average of 10% – as shoppers responded well to online discounts.

Paul Martin, KPMG UK’s head of retail, said: “With potential interest rate rises on the horizon, shaky consumer confidence and ever-increasing levels of household debt, uncertainty remains.

“We’re now moving into the final quarter, which will ultimately define whether 2017 has been a good or bad year for retailers.”

Source: BBC News (published 10th October 2017)

Social Media Post:  Higher food and clothing prices drives retail sales growth

Mortgage News

Quick, slick mortgage offers

Virgin Money

No one likes waiting for things, especially not mortgage Offers.

Once your Virgin Money application is fully packaged their average turnaround time is now less than one day.*

That’s because they underwrite your case upfront and instruct the valuation straightaway. So from the moment you send them your case you can be reassured that they’re on it.

Top 10 tips for sending Virgin Money your case

Get your client a mortgage Offer in no time with these top tips from the Virgin Money Mortgage Operations team:

  1. Review a copy of your client’s credit file prior to inputting a case. This should relate to all clients involved in the application, with a three year address history.
  2. Check the credit file and input accurate levels of outstanding debts into the affordability calculator, along with any additional debts they declare which may not be on the credit file.
  3. Call Virgin Money if the initial decision is a decline or refer, do not re-input a DIP as this adds further footprints to the client’s credit file.
  4. They don’t always need these so only send them bank statements if they ask.
  5. For employed customers, they need either two of the last four monthly payslips or four of the last six weekly payslips, plus the latest P60. Save time and don’t send more unless they ask you for them.
  6. Ensure any payslip deductions such as pensions, childcare vouchers etc are included in the monthly expenditure. Add student loans to the loans section of the DIP.
  7. Provide an email address for the accountant for self-employed clients.
  8. If the client has been employed for less than six months, or is on maternity leave ensure that the employers’ email addresses are provided for references.
  9. If you use admin support remember to send them any updates Virgin Money give you so they are kept up to date.
  10. Email all documents requested to rather than the ‘Mortgage Application’ mailbox, these do not need to be certified.

For more information on sending Virgin Money your case, contact your Business Development Manager.

*Statistic based on data from 1 May to 31 July 2017.

Source: Virgin Money News (received 9th October 2017)

Recent Prudential Regulation Authority changes – Barclays confirmed its support for portfolio landlords

A reminder of the Prudential Regulation Authority changes

  • From 1 January 2017: Mandatory affordability testing – including an interest-rate stress test
  • By 30 September 2017: Lenders need to apply a specialist underwriting approach to portfolio landlord applications, and landlords may need to provide more information.

Confirmed changes at Barclays

From 19 September 2017, your clients will be allowed a maximum of 6 mortgaged BTL / permission-to-let (PTL) properties with Barclays, and a maximum of 10 mortgaged BTL / PTL properties across all lenders (including Barclays).

Barclays other BTL criteria remains the same:

  • Term: 5-25 years
  • Maximum LTV: 75% (60% for individual loans of more than £1m)
  • Maximum individual loan: £2m
  • Maximum aggregate borrowing with Barclays: £3m (£4.5m across all lenders)
  • Minimum personal income: £25,000 (£75,000 for individual loans of more than £1m)

Rate-switch-only applications aren’t affected by these changes.

Making an application with Barclays

From 19 September 2017 onwards:

  • The lender will apply a specialist underwriting approach for new BTL portfolio landlord applications (applications started before this date aren’t affected)
  • All portfolio landlord clients will need to complete a property schedule
  • Barclays won’t need a separate property schedule if a client has fewer than 4 mortgaged rental properties (including the subject property) across all lenders

For more details about the information Barclays will need, see the landlord guide, property schedule and criteria at a glance documents available

PRA Changes

Portfolio landlords with four or more mortgaged buy to let properties

Download here the PDF PRA BTL Portfolio Guide

Protection News

Due diligence and the Aviva Platform upgrade

As the Aviva Platform moves towards its upgrade to FNZ technology, we can look ahead to how Aviva will be delivering on due diligence and supporting advisers with this process.


Why due diligence matters

In 2014, the Financial Conduct Authority Factsheet 012 outlined nine due diligence requirements, stating that a firm must ‘consider whether a platform is suitable and meets clients needs before recommending it’. The regulator made it clear that the responsibility for examining their platform choices rests with the adviser. Whilst a platform provider cannot complete the due diligence for advisers, we can help – by providing the information you need in a convenient way and this is what we plan to do for our platform upgrade.

Aviva’s teamed-up with technology experts F&TRC 

To provide what we think is the best solution, Aviva have partnered with Finance & Technology Research Centre (F&TRC). Established more than 20 years ago, this dynamic London-based consultancy aims to help advisers reduce operating costs in their businesses and work with a wide range of advisory firms across all areas of financial planning.

Director and founder Ian McKenna said: “We’re delighted to work with Aviva to help advisers see how the Aviva Platform has been enhanced by the move to FNZ and to help ensure that their platform’s due diligence is contributing to achieving the right outcomes for their clients.”

What’s coming up?

Later this year we will make available our new tool showing you how the Aviva Platform will change as a result of moving to FNZ, using data collated and managed by F&TRC.  You will be able to compare Aviva’s pre and post FNZ platforms across all nine of the Financial Conduct Authority areas of due diligence.

We look forward to sharing this new resource with you later in 2017. The Aviva Platform migration hub will be updated on due diligence closer to migration, so check back for updates.

Source: Aviva News (5th October 2017)

AIG Webinar: Understanding the Start Range

Webinar Personal Touch NewsTuesday 24th October

11am and 3pm


Understand AIG Life’s solution to affordability issues for clients on a tight budget or low income.



For more information, visit AIG website or get in touch with AIG Business Development Team on 03456006829


Source: AIG e-newsletter (received 6th October 2017)

Become “GI Elite” – An introduction to our October campaign

It’s hard to believe, but it’s already October! Alongside November, this is the busiest month for General Insurance transactions. This is partly what’s shaped our campaign for this month, which is all about helping our brokers to become “GI Elite”.

Uinsure mission for October is to provide you with all the support, expertise, best practices and sales tools – such as our brilliant Defaqto Compare Tool – to help you deliver outstanding service for your clients whilst building a valuable income trail for yourself.

We want to help get you in the best possible place by the end of this month, so that you’re ready for the extremely busy periods for Home and Landlord / BTL insurance that lie ahead between now and the end of the year.

Expect to see lots of helpful communications activity from us this month, including a live Q&A with Mark Hutchings at the end of the month – where He’ll take the opportunity to answer any questions you have (which you can submit by clicking here) about being GI Elite.

If you have any queries about our subsidence criteria visit Uinsure website or email

Source: Uinsure e-newsletter (received 4th October 2017)

And Finally

Does your travel insurance cover an airline going bust?

Personal touch InsuranceThe Monarch Airlines collapse highlights the need to check the fine print in your travel policy

Click here to read the full article

Source: The Guardian (published 7th October 2017)