Member update 30th October 2020
Written on 29/10/2020


There are various exams on BAT that have an expiry of the end of the calendar year, so time to get your skates on and complete the exams that are relevant to you - BEFORE end of 2020.

And, of course, mandatory exams are just what they say they are…so please take them before trying to finish them all on a drink induced Hogmanay afternoon rush.

One of the mandatory exams is TCF, and to help you get over the line IFAC produced a six minute video this week. 

The IFAC TCF exam needs to be completed by the year end….please log into BAT and navigate to TCF mandatory test.  


See in BAT for a cashflow forecast tool that has now been launched.

Now we know this is accurate, and we know this works.

The forecast has been tested and is relatively straightforward to use and simple.

There is more to do. This is a soft-launch.  One test user asked "are the results stochastic or deterministic?"  Well, to be honest, we hadn’t considered that one, (it's the second) but press on – this is a soft launch, and we’ll change what you want changed, we work for you, and like to bring you tools that help you to make money and save money.

see direct link here

We have a lot coming your way on BAT – next stop is to create workflow tasks, and we expect that to be installed by Christmas. Trust me, we are working hard to produce a system you want to add value to your practice.  




link to article here

- by Subitha Subramaniam




It is time to revisit UK Income funds which have been so battered this year to date. Apart from the obvious factors explaining the UK equity underperformance...bad politics, bad Covid ,bad Brexit and bad economy, income funds have suffered disproportionately. To close business 28th October UK Equity Income Unit Trusts were showing a decline of 22.6%,compared with -20.1% (all companies) and -16.5% (Equity and Bond Income).Source Trustnet.

Year to date pharmaceuticals, food retailers, tobacco, mining stocks have had a favourable dividend experience, even if not desired price performance!

In recent weeks a return to value, defensive stocks has led to sector outperformance by utilities,telcos etc - Royal Dutch, BT and Lloyds Bank all produced better than expected statements and actions/hints suggesting return of dividend payments, just yesterday.  These stocks form the basis of many large cap income funds, whether investment trust or OEIC.

Peel Hunt have recently produced a note showing a number of FTSE 100 stocks which are "highly likely" to be paying income worth between 4% and 7% of the current share price by June 2021...many in the finance sector.  

I note that at the current time the yields on IUKD (UK higher yielding equities),SHYU (US junk bonds) and SEML (Emerging Market Local Currency ) are ALL yielding the same - 5.2%....something is wrong surely with at least one of these valuations.




Governments, users and agencies across the world expressed horror at the manipulation of LIBOR.  The perpetrators, or rather just four of them, were tried, found guilty and punished, after a £60m investigation.  

Today we await a new replacement for LIBOR.  And we are still waiting. And we are now entering the eighth long winter since.  Countless alternative benchmark providers have sprung into action over the last few years, such as:

  • the US Federal Reserve System’s Secured Overnight Financing Rate, or SOFR 
  • the Bank of England’s Sterling Overnight Index Average, or SONIA 
  • the Swiss Average Rate Overnight, or SARON 
  • the Tokyo Overnight Average Rate, or TONAR, and 
  • the newly introduced European Central Bank’s Euro Short-Term Rate, or €STR 

however, none of them have caught on, and banks are still writing contracts based on LIBOR.  LIBOR lives on.   Risk models, compliance systems and operational flows are set to LIBOR, and it seems too much to replace it.


BAT IN FIVE MINUTES - a quick tour of the whole of BAT



The FCA has issued a data request to certain advisers who have advised on transfers from the Rolls-Royce DB pension scheme. The FCA, the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) and the Pensions Regulator have been engaging with Rolls-Royce and trustees of the scheme. All these bodies believe transferring out of a DB pension scheme is unlikely to be in consumers’ best interests. 

The FCA invites scheme members looking for impartial guidance to contact the Pensions Advisory Service (part of MaPS), on 0800 011 3797 before taking any action.

Comment by Charlie:  Yet another scandal is brewing, partly exasperated by the pace of enforcement at the FCA.  Since nothing by hot air has come out of the steel works in south wales – excuse the pun – maybe some advisers have let their guard down…well just wait. The FCA work at a snails pace, and the fall out from Steel will be a big one for a small number of people, but in the meantime, others look like joining the queue for a kicking.


Based on the published Annual CPI to September 2020 of 0.5% and legislation, the Lifetime Allowance for 2021/22 would be calculated as £1,078,500.

However, last year when announced the Lifetime Allowance was actually increased using the CPI indices to three decimal places, which would give a Lifetime Allowance for 2021/22 of £1,078,900.  Previously the Lifetime allowance rounded up to nearest £5,000, so meantime we wait for confirmation in legislation to be sure.

HMRC is working to ensure all affected customers from 2018-19 onwards receive the Top Slicing Relief that they are entitled to.

  • Finance Act 2020 provides clarification on beneficial ordering of the personal allowance within the TSR calculation.
  • It also confirms that allowances must be set, as far as possible, against other income in preference to the gain.
  • This ensures that the personal allowance cannot be used twice in the tax year, which would lead to too much relief being claimed.

HMRC state that:

  • This is not a change of policy.
  • The relief calculation has always applied this method.
  • There is no change to how they calculate any other relief, allowance or rate such as the savings nil rates.

HMRC estimate that 2,000 will enjoy these changes.

Government proposals to amend the Wills Act 1837 to allow for virtual witnesses by video link came into effect (retrospectively) from 28 September 2020.

Between 31 January 2020 and on or before 31 January 2022, wills can have a “presence” including by videoconference or other visual transmission.

This does not authorise remote signing on behalf of a testator nor the use of electronic signatures nor counterpart documents.  Remote signing by a testator is not allowed. The Ministry of Justice says that remote witnessing should be used only in an emergency, only when conventional witnessing is impossible, and that extreme caution is required. 

Online probate applications

From 2 November 2020, you will have to use the online probate service for almost all applications. 
“A person applying for a grant through a solicitor or probate practitioner, other than a grant listed in the Third Schedule, must apply using the online portal, unless invited to apply at a registry by that registry.”

The Third schedule is a list of fairly unusual events, including where no will was made. 
November is apparently “Make a Will month” – which a bit like Halloween and other events makes it more like a sales opportunity!  Time to raise this important subject with your clients.



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