With the UK government asking people to stay away from the office, avoid unnecessary travel and now to homeschool their children to curb the spread of coronavirus, many are increasingly facing a financial struggle.
Here we round up how the financial providers regularly featured on Good With Money, including our ‘Good Egg’ companies, are supporting their customers during this incredibly tough time.
If you are experiencing financial difficulty, or foresee that you will, it is important that you contact your provider as soon as possible so they can help you work out a plan.
Please note that the coronavirus pandemic is moving fast with reactions and strategies of major businesses changing daily so be sure to keep checking back here, and the websites of your providers, regularly.
Ecology Building Society
Ecology Building Society says it is monitoring the outbreak closely and following the latest advice from the Government and the NHS. It is taking all necessary steps to protect its colleagues while continuing to provide services to members.
If you are an Ecology customer and are worried about COVID-19 and its impact on your finances you can contact them on 01535 650 770. If you are experiencing or foresee any financial difficulties it is important to call them as soon as possible. In a statement, Ecology says: “We will look at every situation on an individual basis to understand how we can support you.”
Pennine Wealth Solutions
As a digital wealth manager, Pennine Wealth Solutions is focussed during these uncertain times on bringing current, expert and relevant investment news and market updates to its members.
It says in a statement: “In the coming days and weeks, we will be thinking very clearly about the content we bring you, helping to provide you with peace of mind in uncertain times. Our appointed fund managers will be contributing their views and insights from the sharp end of the financial upheaval.”
First up is an interesting article from Rob Gardner, Investment Director at St. James’s Place on how to deal with market volatility. It covers how thinking ahead and reviewing regularly can make a huge difference to your decision-making.
Thrive Renewables says it is operating “business as usual” as much as possible. Office-based staff have a flexible working environment so the systems are already in place for remote working.
In a statement it says: “Our wind and hydro projects are part of critical national infrastructure and the ongoing routine operation of these is our primary focus. We remain open for business and continue to develop our pipeline of new renewable energy projects.”
It adds that the wellbeing of its team, contractors, suppliers and the wider community will remain its priority.
“Robust contingency plans have been formulated to cover employee absence and ensure business continuity,” it says. “We will adhere to government guidance, continue to monitor the situation very closely and adapt as it evolves.”
The company’s website will be updated regularly to reflect any changes and if you have any questions you can call Thrive Renewables on 0117 428 1850.
Ethical bank Triodos says it is closely monitoring the Covid-19 outbreak and its impact, so it can adapt its business and continue to provide banking services to its customers.
A spokesperson said: “We have implemented our business contingency plans and put in place measures to ensure our services are resilient.
“We also understand that some of our customers may be worried about the effect of Covid-19 on their finances, for example due to a drop in income or because of unexpected expenses or bills to pay. We are ready and able to offer support to those impacted directly or indirectly. Our customers and their wellbeing are important to us.”
EQ Investors says in the short-term it is continuing with a “modestly defensive stance” that it’s had in place for much of the past year, while being prepared to act if the situation worsens.
In a statement it says: “We are monitoring the virus spread, policy and market responses daily. If we see an acceleration in the number of cases, then it will mean the risks to global growth from a renewed containment effort could be severe and we will respond accordingly.”
It reminds investors to keep their focus on the long term, saying that if the virus becomes under control and China’s economic activity gradually accelerates, it would expect a continuation of the economic recovery that had begun at the end of 2019.
If you are an EQ customer and have a question about how coronavirus might affect your investments, you can call them on 020 7488 7171.
Ethical investment specialist Abundance is bringing its members highly detailed blogs and analysis on the coronavirus outbreak to help them make decisions about their money.
Through its regularly updated blog Medium, you’ll find charts, data and models on how the virus is spreading and how it is likely to affect you and your finances.
See the full list of our Good Egg companies
The Co-operative Bank
The Co-operative Bank says it has a range of measures to help customers on a case-by-case basis.
A spokesperson said: “We know this is a worrying time for our customers and we want to reassure them that we have a range of support options available.
“We’d encourage customers who have concerns to talk to us about their needs and then we can offer the right support based on their individual circumstances.”
Co-operative Bank customers can call on 03457 212 212 for advice.
Digital challenger bank Monzo is reassuring its customers that any eligible money in their account is fully protected up to £85,000 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). That means if Monzo (or any bank or building society) ever went out of business, you’d get your money back up to £85,000.
Monzo says it is offering full support to customers even while its staff are working from home. It has also put specialist teams in place to help if you are affected by coronavirus and have difficulties managing your money.
It is worth reading Monzo’s guidance and tips on its website about how to avoid financial scams related to the coronavirus.
Starling Bank, which recently won the coveted title of British Bank of the Year, has been quick to reassure its customers that when it comes to their money its “business as usual.” You can manage your money as usual 24/7 through the Starling app and contact the customer services helpline at any time. For anyone unable to leave their home, this is incredibly useful.
As a fully-digital bank, the transition to working remotely hasn’t impacted on its ability to provide the usual service to its customers.
If you are having difficulties managing your money with Starling, you can contact an advisor via a live chat on the website.
If you are struggling with your finances, see the Money Advice Service for a list of free advice services available across the UK.