Archive for February, 2017

Inflation reaches 1.8 percent during January 2017

Figures from the ONS have shown that inflation has risen to its highest rate since June 2014.

While fuel and food prices were the drivers behind the spike, clothing and footwear costs fell compared to a year ago. Though this looks certain to rise in the coming months

The rise to 1.8% is just 0.2 percentage points off the Bank of England target of 2%. Given the current decline in sterling, leading to increased raw material and fuel costs, inflation looks likely to increase beyond the Bank Of England’s target figure by the end of 2017.

The trend is clearly towards higher inflation, however, and we should expect the rate of price increases to rise above the 2% Bank of England target in the next few months. By the end of this year, inflation is likely to be around 3% and possibly even higher. Rising energy prices and the weakness of the pound are the main factors behind this expected increase.

Andrew Sentance, Senior Economic Adviser, PwC

CPI 12-month inflation rate for the last 10 years: January 2007 to January 2017

Figure 2- CPI 12-month inflation rate for the last 10 years- January 2007 to January 2017

Source: Office for National Statistics

The last time inflation hit 2% was during December 2013. Petrol, which was cited in the most recent increase, was on average 1.30p a litre according to the AA Fuel Report. The average price for a litre of unleaded in January 2017 was 119.5p.

You’d need to go back to April 2012 to find inflation at the 3% mark – although there were brief flirtations with this figure between February and July in 2013. Then it reached 2.8% in February, March and July as it peaked during June at 2.9% in that year.

#OAGLoves Rewarding and Recognising Colleagues

No matter where you work, it’s important to feel valued. We’re not talking about shooting confetti or blasting sirens every day. Most of the time, colleagues just want straightforward praise and simple acknowledgements of a job well done.

We understand that it’s important to take the time to say a big thank you to those that have demonstrated that they have gone above and beyond their daily role. We love celebrating the achievements of our colleagues. It’s part of our culture to Value Our People and we’ve committed to doing that in a number of ways.

Colleagues can win a variety of awards every month. We have Five Year Service awards, Compliance awards, Star of the Month and more. Also, every year we elect a Star of the Year. In December, our Senior Management Team elected Lisa Pryde as our 2016 winner. She truly embodies the company’s values in everything she does, whether it’s managing her team or coordinating our colleague-elected Culture Club. CEO Matthew Cheetham awarded Lisa with a trophy and shopping vouchers to spend at the Trafford Centre.

We have also introduced a series of reward and recognition cards to further value our colleagues. These have been designed for those that act as role models and are positive ambassadors for the One Advice Group. Managers will be sharing these with as a sign of gratitude for the hard work and dedication that colleagues have shown. This can be in supporting other colleagues within the business or through treating customers fairly.

Furthermore, in 2015 we were awarded Investors in People Silver status. This acknowledges the commitment that we’ve made to create a workplace that makes colleagues want to jump out of bed in the morning. As part of this process, colleagues from around the business were interviewed to assess our investment in people, processes and infrastructure. We hope to achieve Gold status when this is reviewed.

Throughout the year, we will continue to reward our colleagues and encourage them to Do The Right Thing. We believe that happy colleagues will ensure that we have happy customers.

For an up close and personal look at what it’s like to really work at the One Advice Group, you can look at our Glassdoor page or watch the video below:

If you’re interested in a career at the One Advice Group, please click here to visit our current vacancies page.

#OAGLoves Our Customers

We’ve all experienced exceptional customer service. It might have been a particularly accommodating host in a restaurant or an understanding retail worker when purchasing a new pair of shoes. When you receive that kind of attentive and first-class support, it can really make a difference to your day.

Colleagues at the One Advice Group strive to deliver the best service possible to all of our customers. We use independent review sites and are proud to share that over 97% have rated Harrington Brooks and OpenDoor as “Excellent”.

Our industry’s regulatory body, the Financial Conduct Authority (The FCA), has outlined Treating Customers Fairly as one of their key principles. When joining the business, colleagues participate in extensive training to ensure that they can deliver a high-standard of customer experience. Our Compliance department audit calls as an extra measure to make sure customers are happy and satisfied with the service.

Last year, the FCA shared a research paper outlining debates around vulnerability. They provided advice regarding implementing policies and strategies to help customers that require additional support. This also supplied us with the topic for our inaugural Creditor Conference. We gathered some of the UK’s leading financial services experts to discuss ways to protect vulnerable customers across the sector. To find out more about the event, check out our hashtag #HBCreditorConf16.

To further ensure that all customers receive the best possible service, we created a dedicated Specialist Support Unit. This team have received specialist training from Mind and the Samaritans to ensure that our vulnerable customers always have somebody to talk to and help them. To meet the team and understand more about what they do, watch the video below:

Can you deliver exceptional customer service? Are interested in a career at the One Advice Group? If so, please click here to visit our current vacancies page.