A photograph of a close up of a woman with a phone to her ear for our scam calls article

What to do if you receive a scam call about your finances

One of the downsides to ever-advancing technology is the ease with which people can fall prey to so-called scammers.

Scam calls can strike at any time and in any industry but can be particularly dangerous when dealing with financial matters.

By engaging in conversation with a scammer for even just a few minutes you could be on your way to losing thousands of pounds.

Alan Mellor, Managing Director at Phillip Bates & Co Financial Services said: “If you are unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of a call from someone who is looking to discuss your personal financial matters, we’d first and foremost advise you not to engage in any further conversation with them. Put a stop to it there and then.

“By speaking further with them, you are inviting them to find out more and more about you and thus increasing your vulnerability.

“Financial advisers are, by law, unable to cold call you regarding financial matters by phone, so this should be a warning sign straight away.”

Here at Phillip Bates & Co Financial Services, we have a long-standing policy of always contacting our markets if we receive an email or letter asking us to make bank transfers.

If you are concerned, please contact Alan Mellor on 0151 353 1066.

A photograph of a man writing on a piece of paper for our chartered status article

Congratulations Helen & Margo!

Helen Brown, Senior Financial Adviser at Phillip Bates & Co Financial Services and Margo Dorozik, Client Service Manager have both passed important exams in recent months, taking them one step closer to Chartered status.

The two, who took the exam just before Christmas, are now gearing up for their final exam, which they will take shortly.

Phillip Bates & Co Financial Services is one of only a small number of Chartered Partnerships in the region.

The firm is proud of its status, which reflects its belief of meeting the standards and quality of what they do.

An image of coins stacked on a desk in our tax changes news piece

Dividend tax changes afoot

The end of the financial tax year is fast approaching and there are tax changes afoot.

From April, business owners who pay themselves in the form of dividends, rather than a salary, will see their tax-free allowance cut from £5,000 to £2,000.

The tax changes will also affect investors who have portfolios of shares held outside Isas or pensions.

Alan Mellor, Managing Director of Phillip Bates & Co Financial Services, commented: “This impending change will impact shareholders and business owners who are ultimately going to be paying more tax.

“Whilst there is not a lot we can do to combat the [tax] changes, we invite clients to contact us and see what their options are.”

Alan Mellor can be contacted on 0151 353 1066.

A photograph of a woman with a child on her back outdoors on a pension transfers article

Seek specialist advice before transferring your pension

Pension transfers have been in the news a lot lately, since the transfer values have increased.

But Alan Mellor, Managing Director at Phillip Bates & Co Financial Services, has issued a warning to seek specialist advice before transferring your pension.

“It is important to fully understand and appreciate the value of a guaranteed lump sum for the future,” Alan said.
“We are not encouraging people to transfer their pension.”

Pension transfers came into the spotlight last year, when their value increased as a result of the Brexit vote.

Pressures on some pension schemes had led to some making hugely inflated offers to people to swap future income for a cash lump sum.

At Phillip Bates & Co FS, we saw cases where the transfer valuations had gone up by tens of thousands of pounds in just a handful of weeks, which for some individuals meant cash sums equivalent to more than 30 times the projected annual income on retirement being offered to final salary (or Defined Benefit) pension schemes.

The sharp rise in transfer valuations may look appealing, but anyone considering leaving their final salary scheme should do so only after careful consideration with their financial advisor.

If you’d like to discuss your position, please contact Alan Mellor on 0151 353 1066.

An image of a coin with Bitcoin branding.

Beware of Bitcoin

Bitcoin – a digital currency created in 2009, which uses decentralised technology rather than one central bank – is gaining more and more interest lately.

Since it thrust itself into the mainstream some five years ago, Bitcoin has been a constant source of interest and confusion, but the currency has certainly garnered more attention recently.

Since Christmas, Bitcoin has endured a drop of more than 50 per cent in little over a month, and its sudden crash from $20,000 to under $8,000 has led to concern.

Alan Mellor, Managing Director of Phillip Bates & Co Financial Services has issued a warning about the currency.

He said: “We’re advising our clients to be very wary of Bitcoin.

“The currency’s sudden crash is concerning; when looking at the bigger picture, we as a nation don’t truly understand a lot about this fairly-new phenomenon.

“It can leave those who invest in it potentially very vulnerable – without the need for physical cash, Bitcoin is essentially a chunk of code sitting on a person’s computer, which can also be used in ransoms.

“Far from an investment, Bitcoin is really a gamble.”

Need some advice? Contact Alan Mellor on 0151 353 1066.