Communicating through Covid-19

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Utilising and harnessing the power of technology for effective and continuous communication has never been so important in our profession. Liz Field, CEO of PIMFA highlights some of the key issues that have arisen and solutions being offered in these troubling times.

Most of us are now getting to grips with the realities of working from home for a sustained period and, as we adapt to and learn new ways of working, a focus on maintaining effective communication with one another, our clients and stakeholders is paramount.

PIMFA has a slight advantage here. We’ve had a working from home policy for years and eighteen months ago we refurbished our offices in City Road, necessitating a six-week work from home program, which proved very successful. Little did we know how useful that experience would be.

Technology has been a major asset for us in maintaining both operational resilience and flexibility. Our communications are conducted via email, WhatsApp, Slack, telephone and Zoom. For the foreseeable future, our PIMFA Learning and Events (PL) program has now been reconfigured as an entirely online offering, providing podcasts, webinars and virtual training events to our members on such topics as suitability, DB transfers and vulnerable clients, amongst many others. Our PL Library allows members to access archive material from previous PL events, watch previous webinars on demand and download training materials as and when needed.

Last week we also announced the launch of our Virtual Fest, to be held on the 3rd and 4th June. This two-day, digital learning package will cover the key streams as identified by our members as being the most useful to them in the current climate, including operational resilience.

There is also a growing concern around investment scams. The City of London Police has recently reported a 400 per cent increase in Covid-19 related fraud within a month and Action Fraud has recorded total losses of nearly £970,000 due to Covid-19 fraud since the start of February.

In light of this PIMFA, will shortly be launching a Tackling Investment Scams campaign, highlighting this increase in criminal activity and outlining what steps can be taken in order to minimise these risks as well as signposting them to advisers. More on this will be announced shortly. We will need members help to socialise this further and to alert investors to the dangers.

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