Keeping You Updated - Monday 18th May 2020

We hope you are all safe and well and are pleased to provide our latest update.

Since our last update the financial markets, as we expected, have been through highs and lows along with a number of days with very little overall change. In the last 13 working days we have seen the FTSE100 rise or fall by over 100 points on 5 occasions and also 2 days where the increases were 3.75 points ( 0.06%) and 4.34 points (0.07%) and a day where the index fell 9.28 points (0.16%).

The Property funds still remain suspended as valuers have no access to properties to carry out valuations and this situation will remain at least until lockdowns are lifted.

Although the majority of asset types have shown falls in value since the virus appeared a number of funds have shown signs of recovery and our advice is still to stay invested.

We are monitoring the updates from the Scottish Government closely to determine the next steps in order we can ensure we provide the very best service to our clients as well as keeping everyone safe.  This will mean extensive planning with consideration around social distancing and travel for everyone as well as making sure we are able to welcome clients back to the office, only when it is safe to do so for all concerned.  We appreciate that this may yet be some weeks away and will ensure we keep you fully updated on any developments.

As the housing market adapts to ways to keep the economy moving we have seen a number of lenders offering desk top valuations while surveyors are not able to visit residential properties.  This means we are able to work with the lenders to find suitable remortgage options for clients. We have also observed most lenders have relaxed their minimum deposit (loan to value) restrictions which were activated in the early days of the lockdown and week by week we are seeing more lenders widen the options available to customers.  We anticipate being back to the full product offerings for borrowers in the next few weeks.  This is good news for anyone seeking a mortgage or remortgage.

Interest rates remain at record lows and as we are able to secure remortgage offers up to 6 months in advance of your renewal date, if this is something you would like to look at now Graeme Nichols, our specialist mortgage adviser can be contacted at mortgages@mccreafs.co.uk or by calling the team on 0141 572 1340 and selecting option 1.

As you know, all of our team are working remotely and are contactable by email and telephone as normal. All meetings are being held via online platforms including MS Teams, Skype or Zoom or phone.

Just before the lockdown, we appointed a new Advisor, Grant Sneddon.  Grant joins McCreas from Policy Service/Virtue Money and prior to that he held senior positions with the Royal Bank of Scotland. Of course, this is a rather unusual time to be joining a new company but all credit to him, Grant is underway and thanks to the systems and technology in place at McCreas is well on board holding client meetings and providing assistance to our clients.   Grant will be a real asset to the business and we are delighted to welcome him.  More details here: https://www.mccreafs.co.uk/news/mccrea-financial-services-announces-new-senior-appointment/

Finally, as you may know, we have a very strong record for charitable support within the business and two of the team, Jonathan Campbell and Elaine Hamilton were both in training for big events for our nominated charity this year.   Elaine was to tackle a very hilly road cycle race over 140 km and Jonathan has been training hard for Ironman Wales which is due to take place in September which although not cancelled seems unlikely to go ahead.  However, to ensure the training didn’t go to waste, both decided to complete a virtual option.  Elaine managed to complete her challenge on Saturday, over two weeks ahead of the deadline from the organisers while Jonathan used his bank holiday Friday to complete a Garage Ironman.  This incorporated a 10km row, 180 km on a fixed bike and running a full marathon distance on a treadmill all in his garage.  Quite an incredible achievement! They are raising money for three charities, SMAH (the Scottish Association of Mental Health), Marie-Curie Cancer Care and NHS Charities together.  The full story and a link to make a donation is here and I know they would both be extremely grateful for any donations for three great causes.  https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/McCreaFinancialServicesMay2020

As ever if we can be of any help or if there is anything you would like to chat through please get in touch.