COVID-19 NEWS BULLETIN 31st MARCH 2020
Today’s coronavirus daily press briefing was delivered by Senior minister Michael Gove. Mr Gove outlined that more NHS employees are returning to the front line and stated that more testing is being completed and at an increased rate to ensure that those on the front line are being tested.
Michael Gove went on to say that the UK had a lack of domestic manufacturing capability for mechanical ventilators but stated that production has been increased hugely following an appeal from the government and will be manufactured by a group of businesses including GKN and Mercedes. These are planned to be distributed to the NHS front line early next week.
A relatively quiet day today in terms of new announcements. One hot topic today is that nationwide, one of the UK’s biggest lenders, have effectively pulled out of new deals. Other lenders are looking to do the same as the home mortgage market feels the effects of the coronavirus to the economy. Nationwide, at the time of writing, will now only offer home loans to those with 25% equity or greater. Nationwide was stated by the BBC today as wanting to focus on supporting existing members, while continuing to process those applications already pending. Nationwide state that this is a temporary measure with other lenders such as Santander and Skipton Building Society taking a similar stance. It is worthwhile remembering that Michael Gove last week was in the press saying that there will be a lockdown of the housing market as individuals from viewers to valuers are unable to gain access to properties during the lock down in order for application process to move to completion. Lenders are offering a three-month extension of existing mortgage offers to in a bid to assist the situation post-lockdown, whenever they may be.
We are currently working on an easy list of contact details for lenders which you might find helpful, should you wish to look to reduce your standard monthly payments given the current situation. Once finalised, we will circulate this to our clients.
Headlines around panic buying have dominated the news for some weeks, however, news today is that some supermarkets are lifting their restrictions a little. As you would expect, grocery sales in the UK were at record levels in March. Resulting in much on social media over the weekend of much unopened and expired goods hitting the bins of many households. Reported today was that, depending on the supermarket, restrictions will be lightened and/or altered as the panic on having full cupboards subsides somewhat. In fact, as of this afternoon, personal emails I am receiving from one supermarket has altered from telling me how I wont be able to use their website and updates on cancelled orders, to now receiving emails informing me of how many more items I can now purchase.
The markets have seen a slight lift over the course of the today. Some optimism surrounding energy markets as Trump and Putin look to commence talks regarding oil production and UK Consumer Confidence numbers were also higher than predicted.
Essential Links for assistance via Gov.uk
Self-Employment & Universal Credit
Employment & Support Allowance
https://www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance Covid-19 Small Business Government Grant https://smallbusiness.co.uk/how-do-i-get-the- government-3000-coronavirus-grant-2549866/ Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan https://smallbusiness.co.uk/how-do-i-apply-for-a-coronavirus-business-interruption-loan- 2549863/ Citizen’s Advice https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/help-if-on-a-low-income/if-youre-struggling- with-living-costs/ Emergency Funding https://www.stepchange.org/debt-info/emergency-funding.aspx
The COVID-19 situation is fast moving and although we endeavour to bring you the latest information, the details enclosed are correct as far as we are aware, at the time of issue.
Should you have any concerns or questions, we are here for our clients and will happily arrange a telephone or video call appointment to provide guidance.
A good number of clients have taken the opportunity to use this downtime to review their financial planning, specifically analysing their current income and expenditure along with what income is expected to be in 6-12 weeks. This planning has been greatly received as it enables clients to prepare for what could be uncertainty for a prolonged period.
If you would like to take advantage of this review, please either call our practice mobile 07543 368 478 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We are here to help you through these challenging times, so please don’t be afraid to get in touch.