An update for Ascot Lloyd clients on face to face meetings with advisers – Ian Balgarnie, Commercial Director
As a valued client of Ascot Lloyd, you will aware that we took very quick and responsible action to ensure our employees and clients were kept safe as the COVID 19 pandemic unfolded. We swiftly moved to working remotely and closed our offices whilst at the same time ensuring we continued to provide you with the excellent service you expect from us. We also sought to stay in touch with you through regular email communication keeping you abreast of the markets and providing information that we felt would be valuable to you during this time.
We made the decision to stop all face-to-face meetings, in order to protect the health and well-being of our employees and customers. As you may be aware from the government's relaxation of lockdown measures, the number of cases of COVID-19 is reducing and so we are pleased to confirm that we are re-instating face to face visits from advisers with our clients, where it is safe to do so.
Our advisers will be strictly adhering to government guidance. Meetings will be held in the open air wherever possible, either at your property or at a mutually agreed outdoor location. At all times, our advisers will comply with the current social distancing guidelines set out by the government (currently 2m, or in England only 1m with risk mitigation where 2m is not viable).
As the health of you and our employees is our highest priority, we have carefully assessed the risks associated with meetings in person and we would therefore ask that you consider carefully the following guidelines ahead of your scheduled meeting:
- Firstly, consider if you definitely wish to meet in person. If you would prefer, we remain able to offer online meetings through a variety of online platforms such as Zoom or FaceTime. We also offer phone calls.
- If you or anyone in your household or bubble is vulnerable or at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 you are strongly advised not to meet face-to-face. Instead, please contact us to arrange a remote meeting, including online. If you wish to meet in person, please contact us so we can make special arrangements.
- If you or anyone in your household or bubble has symptoms of COVID-19, including a high temperature or a new persistent cough, or is within 14 days of the day when the first member of your household showed symptoms of COVID-19, please contact us to reschedule your meeting.
- If you or anyone in your household or bubble has been identified as extremely clinically vulnerable and has been advised by their health authority to shield, we will be unable to conduct a face to face meeting with you for the foreseeable future. We would however be happy to service your needs via one of our remote offerings, outlined above.
Your meeting – confirmation
Once the meeting with your adviser is confirmed, we will telephone you again 24 hours ahead of the meeting to confirm that neither you nor your household or bubble has COVID 19 or COVID 19 symptoms. Should anyone in the household or in any bubble to which the household is connected have developed symptoms or been asked to self-isolate as a result of a track and trace request, we would kindly request that you reschedule your appointment until the household is free of COVID-19.
Your meeting – what to expect
Our adviser will not travel by public transport and will be equipped with hand sanitiser, single use gloves and a face mask for use during your meeting. Should the meeting be held at your house, our adviser will unfortunately not be able to accept any offer of refreshment, nor will they use your toilet facilities. Please also do not be offended if they do not shake your hand.
Throughout the meeting they will, with your assistance, do their best to remain at a social distance of 2 metres (6 feet) throughout their visit with you. Where social distancing at 2 metres is not possible; they will follow government guidance on ‘1 metre plus’ and mitigate the risk by using face protection and other control measures such as sitting side-by-side with you rather than face-to-face.
We would ask that contact between our adviser and your household or business is restricted to only household members whose presence is essential for the meeting. Appropriate social distancing must be maintained and should not be compromised by the number of people present. Of course, additional members can be accommodated at the meeting by way of conference call or one of the available online/ virtual meeting options outlined above.
Your appointment – follow up
Should you or any member of your household develop COVID-19 symptoms or receive a positive test for COVID -19 within 14 days of our adviser’s visit, please contact us as a matter of high priority.
Should our adviser develop symptoms of COVID-19 within this period, we will of course notify you.
I am sure that you understand the need for these additional measures in these extraordinary times; our advisers are greatly looking forward to reconnecting with their clients and providing the quality advice that you have come to expect from Ascot Lloyd.
If you are uncomfortable in any way about holding a face to face meeting there is of course no obligation. We are very happy to continue to meet you by phone or video as you chose, for as long as you like. There is no difference in service or quality of advice we provide, irrespective of how we meet with you.
We very much look forward to seeing friendly faces again should you choose to do so and in the meantime, continue to stay safe and well.
We are open for business as usual, our Financial Advisers are available on the phone so please contact us if you have any questions.