COVID-19 Help & Support

These are very challenging times for all. Our primary concern is for the health and welfare of you and your families. The latest measures will undoubtedly save lives, but we understand that people will also be very concerned about the effect on their finances.

We want to let you know that we are on hand to help in any way we can. During this uncertain period there will be a need to look at budgeting for many. This could be:

  • Suspending or cancelling contributions to pensions and investments
  • Temporarily adjusting pension or investment income
  • Reviewing payments to insurance companies
  • General income and expenditure analysis
  • Reducing utilities and bills
  • Reviewing mortgage costs (including three month mortgage deferment)

If you wish to speak to us about these or any other issues please get in touch with us, but we do ask that you are patient as we are receiving higher than usual call volumes and it will take a little longer than usual to respond.

If you are considering taking a mortgage break please get in touch with us first. We have received more details from lenders on the process and long term implications of using this scheme and can assist you in making the correct decision at the correct time.

In addition, the government have implemented huge stimulus measures to help businesses and individuals through this crisis. Some of the finer details on the published measures are still a bit vague, so we would recommend checking the following link regularly to keep up to date.

Some of the main financial actions are:

  • Statutory Sick Pay payable from the first day you’re self-isolating and cannot work. This will begin from 13 March.
  • Enhanced Employment Support Allowance and Universal Credit rules for individuals including self employed who cannot work through either sickness, self-isolation or shut down actions.
  • Guarantee pay if you are temporarily laid off or have reduced hours.
  • Businesses with fewer than 250 employees can reclaim the cost of providing Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) to employees off work due to the coronavirus.
  • Scaling up of HMRC’s “Time to Pay” service, including a new helpline so businesses and the self-employed can arrange to defer VAT and income tax payments. We would recommend talking to HMRC before paying any tax bills to see how they can assist to defer and spread these payments.
  • All retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England will receive a 100% business rates holiday for the next 12 months – this will be administered by councils we believe.
  • Grants to small businesses eligible for Small Business Rate Relief of £10,000 – this is to be administered by councils we believe also.
  • Additional £25,000 grants to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from premises, with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000 – again to be administered by councils.
  • Loans available from the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme up to £5 million, the first 6 months of that finance is interest free. You should speak to your bank manager or bank in the first instance regarding this.
  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for all UK employers to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.

Once again we wish you all the best over the coming weeks and hope to be able to assist you as much as possible.

The Robson Team

Premises Update

Due to the extended measures being taken to battle the spread of COVID-19, we have today taken the decision to close our client facing premises until it is safe to reopen.

This decision has been taken for the continued health and safety of our clients and staff.

We would like to assure everyone, that all of our systems are fully operative off-site and we are still available through existing channels of communication.

This closure does not interfere with our ability to deliver our services which will continue as normal in all other respects.

Best wishes.


COVID 19 – Update and Response from Robson Financial Ltd

Business Continuity

We are aware that our clients will all be experiencing their own concerns in relation to the COVID 19 pandemic and although first and foremost our thoughts are with those already affected we also want to provide information on the steps we are taking to continue to provide a service to our clients throughout this period.

As an FCA regulated business we have always had to maintain a Business Continuity Plan. We are therefore very well placed to deal with the current and any future containment and mitigation measures.

• Our IT and communication systems are cloud based and we have a number of off-site work plans in case the office needs to be temporarily closed or movement of people needs to be restricted.

• Our key staff are being placed on opposite working schedules so as to minimise the chance of staff illness impacting our service to clients.

• We can conduct client meetings and reviews via telephone and internet-based communication for those who are vulnerable, self-isolating or otherwise prefer.

• We have established additional communication protocols with our provider and investment partners, and reviewed their continuity plans thoroughly to ensure minimal impact to our service to clients.

Market Overview

The spread of the new strain of coronavirus and subsequent containment measures have caused significant fear and uncertainty. As a result, markets have reacted severely. While there is undoubtedly plenty to worry about, the current selloff has more to do with the markets inability to keep a grasp on reality than a massive collapse in the global economy.

Global pandemics don’t come along very often, so it is difficult to estimate the impact. And initially a lot of questions relating to the effects will go unanswered, and when that happens the normal response is to just sell.

As the crisis progresses, we should start to see some answers. What the scale of the outbreak is in each country, what the cost to each economy might be, and how effective policies aimed at minimising these costs have been.

In the meantime, we will continue to witness big swings in global stock markets as they behave irrationally in response to new information and events both good and bad.

What is important to note is firstly, the selloff of risk assets that has happened has been indiscriminate. This shows that the reaction is not based on informed reasoning but is fear induced. Secondly the reaction although severe, will also be temporary.

Robson Investment Strategy

Given that the events and fall out will be temporary and that our investment approach is long term, the current market selloff does not alter our strategies. In periods of high volatility, we naturally step up our due diligence and communication processes with our investment partners, mainly looking for changes to underlying fundamentals that may be hidden in the short-term haze.

We also look at our client base to identify any short-term risk categories that might be impacted by a temporary reduction in their capital value and deal with these on a case by case basis.

However, most of the risk management is embedded in our strategies.

Our investment strategies are multi asset which means that there is a mix of investments in each solution. These assets react differently to one another in given market conditions which is designed to help our portfolios outperform the market in general. This diversification is also geographical. It means that the fund managers and discretionary managers can change the position of the portfolios in real time and reduce risk exposure and take opportunities that arise as the situation develops.

This is much more effective in the long term than trying to time the markets. The simple fact is that despite sophisticated and powerful technology, trying to predict when markets will rise and fall is impossible. Trying to time the markets by switching to cash-based investments leaves investors at risk of missing out on the best performing cycles. To avoid this risk, we trust in the long-term value that the fund and discretionary managers can add to client’s returns and continue to monitor this aspect of the investment strategy closely and continually.

This is particularly true of this market correction as the speed of the losses is unprecedented which instils the feeling that the recovery, whenever it arrives, could be equally dramatic.

Having conducted our stress testing we have identified that all of our investment strategies have outperformed their respective peers and benchmarks. Some of our specialist solutions have yet to see any losses although we expect this to change as the crisis deepens. In all cases we anticipate the portfolios will position clients well to take advantage of the recovery.

As always, we are on hand for our clients and invite all client to call us should they have further questions or queries. We will update all with further communications as they become relevant.

Coronavirus – Update

There continues to be considerable market volatility due to the spread and containment measures in relation to the new strain of coronavirus. Some of this has been led by sentiment and some by the short-term financial impacts of the containment measures being used to try and stop the spread.

Volatility in markets is nothing new and while unexpected events like this cannot be predicted, the processes and management of our investment strategies always factor in the possibility of these types of market reactions.

Our job remains to manage for our client’s long term financial objectives and short term events such as these do not change this approach. Our aim is that by utilising the correct strategies and expertise we can shield our clients from the worst of the negative effects and therefore give them the best springboard for future gains.

Its important to remember that when all economies are in reverse clients cannot be 100% protected from the effects. Additionally, when day to day volatility remains so high, trying to ‘time’ the markets in a bid to avoid all of the downside can invariably lead to greater losses in the long term. Our position is to trust in the strategies already in place.

Of course, we continue to monitor the situation and diligently work with our investment partners to ensure the best possible results for our clients. As part of this we have already put in place further short-term measures with our investment partners including:

  • Weekly stress testing, performance analysis and summary of activity will be added to the standard analysis
  • Revised market outlook with analyst and manager expectations updated regularly
  • A business continuity plan in the event we end up in an Italian style lockdown.

As things stand, we will continue to communicate relevant information and are on hand for our clients should they have specific questions. If we feel that any future development required any change in strategy for any of our clients we would immediately be in touch to take further action.

Below is more detailed market commentary for your consideration.

Document – Market Commentary 6th March 2020



The Team is Growing

A huge welcome to the newest member of the Robson Financial team………..

Sean Partridge brings a wealth of experience to his new role as Office Manager at the Robson Financial Honiton High Street premises.

After 30 years working in various management and customer services roles for a major High Street bank, Sean is welcoming a change of scenery.

In his new role he will support the advisers in their efforts for clients, deal with customers and oversee the office operations on a day to day basis.

He is a family man and does a massive amount of work for local charity. A fun loving chap who is well know for putting the customer first – its fair to say we are all looking forward to having him on board.

Robson Financial Make the Move

Robson-PremisesOur new offices are taking shape as we speak at 71 High Street, Honiton!!

We are now in the office working and although we are not yet officially open to the general public, feel free to pop your head in and say hello if you are passing.

Over the coming weeks you will see things progressing with the internal and external furnishings and we are very much looking forward to officially opening with a bit of a celebration, which we will keep you all informed about.