Archive for July, 2015

Harrington Brooks Quarterly Comment, July 2015


The Harrington Brooks Quarterly Comment is released today.

The previous quarter has seen some key landmarks including an election, budget address and the announcement of the FCA’s Martin Wheatley to step down.

More recently this week the Insolvency Service released figures that underlined the strength in the economy with total personal insolvencies in England and Wales at a near 10 year low.

Our Quarterly Comment reviews the financial outlook, previous quarter statistics and what potentially lies ahead.

The Harrington Brooks full quarterly comment is available to view now.

Martin Wheatley To Stand Down From FCA Post

The FCA’s Chief Executive Martin Wheatley is to stand down from his post from September 2015.

Mr Wheatley will continue to act as an adviser to the FCA Board until January 2016 with a particular emphasis on the implementation of the Fair and Effective Markets Review, which he co-chaired.

John Griffith-Jones, Chairman of the FCA said:

“Martin has done an outstanding job as Chief Executive setting up and leading the FCA over the last four years. We owe him a lot and I and my Board would like to thank him for his great efforts in setting up the organisation and for the contribution he has made to putting conduct so firmly at the top of the financial services agenda.

“We all wish Martin well and I am pleased that we will continue to benefit from his wisdom and expertise over the next few months.”

Martin Wheatley said:

“I am incredibly proud of all we have achieved together in building the FCA over the last four years. I know that the organisation will build on that strong start and work so that the financial services industry continues to thrive.”

Mr Griffith-Jones also announced that Tracey McDermott will be taking over as Acting Chief Executive from September 12 while the search for a permanent Chief Executive takes place.

Wheatley has previously held executive roles at the Securities and Futures Commission and the London Stock Exchange prior to becoming Managing Director of the Financial Services Authority in 2012.


Out of the classroom and in to the boardroom

Learn to Earn booklets

The One Advice Group will today open its doors to 30 schoolchildren and young job seekers taking part in the Young Enterprise ‘Learn to Earn’ programme as part of a “Financial Education for Future Generations” day.

Learn to Earn booklets

The aims of the day are to help educate young persons on money management, provide essential finance skills and help to set career aspirations for future years.

“It is imperative that young people are able to learn about these important life skills, as our experience shows that people’s financial habits are entrenched at an early age, and we’re delighted to be able to help with this.” Matthew Cheetham, Chief Executive Officer, One Advice Group.

The One Advice Group is drawing on the expertise of the charitable sector to run the day, and will be supported by education charity Young Enterprise and local charity Thrive Trafford.  As part of the day, the pupils will undertake sessions on the cost of living, the negative effects of indebtedness, future possible career paths, goal setting and the importance of educational attainment.

Young Enterprise, who are part of the Personal Finance Education Group, are a leading financial education and enterprise charity. It is their content and programme structure which pupils will be following as part of the day.

“Our Learn to Earn programme enables students to consider their future aspirations and expectations, whilst learning about the real cost of living and possible career paths. Working with the One Advice Group means students can hear directly from industry experts and understand the importance of financial management.” Suzanne Lockwood, Young Enterprise Area Manager for the North West.

Thrive Trafford are a charity who help to facilitate relationships between local businesses and charity or public sector establishments such as schools.

“We’re really excited to be involved in this programme and seeing the benefits that the students involved will gain from it. This event is a great example of what we do at Thrive Trafford – looking to show private businesses that even the smallest actions can have an incredibly positive impact on the local community.” Mark Cottam, CSR Advisor, Community Investment, Thrive Trafford.

During the day the team at One Advice will also be holding various sessions for pupils to ask staff and leaders about their routes in to the business and what working life is really like.

The learning day continues the Group’s CSR activity with schools in the local area. Earlier this year the Group visited Haveley Hey Primary School as part of ‘Futures Week 2015’. Details on what we did there can be found on our homepage.

Further details on the work of our external partners, Young Enterprise and Thrive Trafford, can be found on their respective websites.

One Advice Group to deploy Xactium Risk Manager Software

The One Advice Group have chosen Xactium Risk Manager software to support and manage business risks across the group.

Changes within the regulation of the debt management and consumer credit industry, which was previously overseen by the OFT, have required firms within the sector to review operational processes including how they manage business risks.

“The One Advice Group decided to move to a Risk Management Solution to support its recently enhanced Risk Management Framework and to satisfy regulatory requirements to ensure the Group has adequate, sound and appropriate risk management processes and internal control mechanisms.”

Built on the Salesforce Platform Xactium Risk Manager provides a centrally managed risk package for the entire organisation where regulation differs between each part of the business.

“We chose the Xactium Risk Manager solution because of its extensive functionality, reporting suite and ease of implementation and customisation.  The product also has the functionality to effectively support a group environment where the impact of risk varies across each business area due to different regulatory bodies and business models.  The enhanced reporting will enable the Board to closely monitor the Group’s risk profile in line with its defined appetite.”

Austin Muscatelli, Group Head of Risk and Compliance, The One Advice Group.

The software is used by other leading firms including Jardine Lloyd Thompson and HomeServe as well as the Financial Conduct Authority.

“Following our recent news that the Financial Conduct Authority has implemented Xactium Risk Manager, this announcement demonstrates the scalability of Xactium Risk Manager and its suitability for any organisation that needs to manage and report on risk throughout their organisation. The project with One Advice Group demonstrates Xactium’s ability to deliver a comprehensive risk management solution into a group structured organisation that will support their risk management framework and meet their regulatory commitments in a matter of days. We look forward to a long and successful relationship with The One Advice Group.”

Andy Evans, CEO, Xactium Ltd

Female insolvencies overtake male figures – an analysis

Numbers of women facing insolvency proceedings has overtaken the male level for the first time ever.

Figures released by the Insolvency Service covered location, age and gender which revealed that combined bankrupt, IVA and DRO numbers for women overtook total male insolvencies last year.

An analysis – David Rankin, Insolvency Practitioner

These statistics show that in 2014, for the first time, more women than men entered a formal insolvency process.  Looking into the statistics in more detail they show that the insolvency rate was higher amongst females than males below the age of 55 but above that age it is higher amongst men. There will inevitably be many reasons for this but It may be that women are less likely to stick their head in the sand about debt problems or it could be that low value or consumer debts have a bigger impact on women’s finances than men. It is probably also a reflection of women’s increasing economic activity which is closing the historic gap with their male counterparts.

If we look at the different types of solutions there are differing trends that may give some clues.  Across all age groups and regions more women than men take out a Debt Relief Order, which was introduced in 2009 as an alternative to Bankruptcy for people with unsecured debts less than £15,000, assets less than £300 (excluding a car, which can be up to £1,000) and monthly disposable income less than £50.  It may be that this reflects the type of debt problems and other economic factors encountered by women.  Industry research shows that 85% of insolvency practitioners say consumer debt issues are a major cause of insolvencies for females, while only 75% say the same for men. On the other hand 83% of insolvency practitioners say the failure of someone’s own company is a leading cause of insolvency for men, compared to the 32% who say that for women.

When we look at Individual Voluntary Arrangements, which are also more likely to feature unsustainable consumer debt, we see that these are more popular amongst women than men for all ages below 44 but higher amongst men above that age which may also reflect a similar trend to the DRO. In the last five years, the numbers of women entering Individual Voluntary Arrangements have risen while they have fallen for their male counterparts.

Bankruptcy is the one solution where rates remain higher amongst men of all age groups and is often linked to ‘big bang’ personal finance issues like job loss or company failure. The impact of this is offset however by the fact that bankruptcy rates have fallen dramatically in the last five years, whereas the number of other types of insolvency has remained quite steady.

The full release from the Insolvency Service can be viewed on the website.

Budget 2015 – The Powerhouse Keeps Moving On    

The first Conservative budget for 19 years was delivered by the Chancellor this week which yet again supported devolved powers for Greater Manchester.

While many commentators are picking apart the cuts to welfare and viability of the new Living Wage the Northern Powerhouse once again got a name check that makes further strides towards aiding growth and regional independence.

George Osborne outlined plans for the region to take control of fire, land commission and children’s services whilst also announcing plans to fund the implementation of Oyster cards in the North of England.

Any doubts over the strength of the region’s ability to become a powerhouse could also be laid to rest through figures from RBS’s regional growth tracker – released a day before the budget.

The North West and the North East regions each saw growth of 0.5% in Q1 of 2015. This was above growth levels between 0.3 and 0.4% in other regions including London and Wales.
Although Osborne’s support of the Northern Powerhouse was questioned by the opposition, with an indefinite pause to the HS3 rail project, it still feels as though some of the infrastructure is already in place to develop this further.

One Advice Chief Executive Matt Cheetham recently spoke about this when talking to Business Desk North West.

Matt Cheetham Speaks To Business Desk North West


One Advice Group Chief Executive Matt Cheetham recently spoke to the Business Desk about the development of the Northern Powerhouse.

The clip was filmed at a round table meeting hosted by Rowan Partners on attracting funding and talent in the North West for SMEs.

In the video Matt touches on various infrastructure elements which contribute towards the vision of a Northern Powerhouse including transport links and shifting government departments from centralised London.

0800 and 0808 numbers now free from UK mobiles


Changes to call charges are being introduced in the UK from July 1st.

Calls to numbers beginning 0800 or 0808 will now be free from UK mobiles.

As some leading companies still refer customers to 0800 and 0808 numbers this is good news for consumers everywhere. Especially when landline figures are on a downward trend.

Ofcom statistics reveal that the number of adults who live in a house without a landline (a mobile only home) increased to 16% percent in the first quarter of 2014 compared to 15% in the preceding year.

Changes to 084, 087, 09 and 118 numbers

There are also new changes to how ‘service numbers’ display their call charge information. Numbers with the prefix 084, 087, 09 and 118 will now have charges split in two sections. An ‘Access’ and ‘Service’ charge.

What is an Access charge?

This part of the call charge goes to your phone company and is charged as pence per minute. They will tell you how much the Access charge will be for calls to service numbers. It should be made clear on bills and when you take out a contract.

What is a Service charge?

This is the rest of the call charge. The organisation you are calling decides this, and will tell you how much it is.


Details on how call charges are normally displayed is detailed below:

“Calls cost xxp per minute from a BT landline. Calls from other landline providers may vary and calls from mobiles may cost considerably more.”

From July 1st call cost details must show the following – making reference to the Access and Service charge. This could be explained as:

“Calls cost 20p per minute plus your phone provider’s Access charge.”

You will be charged the Access and Service charge per minute whenever you call numbers beginning 084, 087, 09 and 118.

What will my mobile network charge for Access and Service charges?

Details for the major operators including EE, O2, Vodafone and Three are below. Prices shown are costs you would pay per minute during a call and apply from July 1st.

Network Mobile Access charge Home phone Access charge
Vodafone 23p, then 45p from 10th August N/A
EE (incl. Orange & T-Mobile) 44p 11p
 Virgin Media 36p 10.25p
BT 30p 9.58p
O2 25p N/A
Three 25p N/A
Tesco Mobile 25p N/A
TalkTalk 20p 5p
giffgaff 15p N/A
Sky N/A 9.5p
Source: – 22nd June 2015

These new changes will not affect calls made to landlines that begin 01, 02, 03 or mobile numbers that begin 07.