Monday, 24 September 2018

Stamp duty cut: 121,500 households save £284 million

According to the latest statistics 121,500 first-time buyers have saved a total of £284,000,000 following the introduction of a relief for first-time buyers under the Stamp Duty Land Tax rules which apply in England and Northern Ireland.
Over the next five years, it is estimated that this relief, part of the UK government’s housing policy will help over 1 million people getting onto the housing ladder.

First-time buyers purchasing homes of £300,000 and under pay no stamp duty at all, and those who bought properties of up to £500,000 will also have benefitted from a stamp duty cut.

Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Mel Stride, said:

‘Once again, we can see that our cut to stamp duty for first-time buyers is helping to make the dream of home ownership a reality for a new generation – exactly as we intended.’
‘In addition, we’re building more homes in the right areas, and have introduced generous schemes such as the Lifetime ISA and Help to Buy.’

Those purchasing properties in Wales (since 1 April 2018) pay Land Transaction Tax and those in Scotland pay Land and Buildings Transaction Tax. First-time buyers in Scotland also benefit from a relief for first-time buyers.

Internet link: GOV.UK news

For more information please do not hesitate to contact the team at Ward Williams Financial Services Ltd on 01932 830664 or by email on

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Wednesday, 19 September 2018

FT Adviser – Mystery Shopper

The below has been taken from the FT Adviser website published on 18th April 2018 (

Each week the mystery shopper seeks advice from independent advisers in the UK. The aim is to find out whether advisers are delivering the goods when it comes to the all-important initial telephone contact between client and adviser. It is only intended to evaluate this first interview, and it is understood that further meetings would be necessary before final decisions could be made. The purpose is not to expose poor selling practices, but to show constructively any weaknesses in the advice process.

This week, the mystery shopper visits Hayes in West London where she is seeking advice on inheritance tax and estate planning. The shopper is in her late 30s and will marry by the end of the year. Both she and her partner have their own properties. Hers is a four-bedroom house worth just over £500,000 and left to her by her mother, while her partner’s flat is valued at about £350,000. The shopper has a 10-year-old son from a previous relationship and would like to find out what protection she can leave in place for the child.

Adviser: Ward Williams Financial Services (independent)

Address: Bay lodge, 36 Harefield Road, Greater London, Uxbridge UB8 1PH

Speed of response: 10.55am. One ring and transferred to adviser. 5/5

Telephone manner: Friendly and professional. 5/5

Relevant qualifications: DipPFS 5/5

Payment method: The fee will depend on how complex the shopper's needs are. Wills start from about £600. A financial planning report ranges from £500 to £3,000. 5/5

Guidance: The adviser told the shopper she and her partner should draw up wills, which would then need to be updated after they got married. In her will she should consider leaving her assets to her son in a trust and also stipulate who will be his guardian if his father is not in the picture. Inheritance tax is not an issue at the moment because the couple’s combined tax threshold exceeds the value of their properties. 5/5

Knowledge: The adviser came across as very knowledgeable. 4/5


Verdict: The adviser was professional, helpful and knew his stuff. 

 Photo credit: Raw Pixel

Monday, 17 September 2018

Ward Williams Financial Services Ltd - 15th Anniversary

Today is the launch of the Ward Williams Financial Services Ltd 15th Anniversary celebrations!! We will be sending a gift to all of our clients with a card, adopting 10 hedgehogs, providing Knowledge Slots for our staff, a new 15th Anniversary logo, 15th Anniversary stickers, marking the achievement with updates on our Website, Twitter and LinkedIn, cakes, and maybe the opportunity for a few drinks.

15 years is a long time in the world of Financial Services, and it has been an interesting journey.

From a standing start in 2003, we now look after approximately £90M of client assets, and have made a major contribution to the profitability of the Ward Williams Group. This has been achieved with a top team of 7 staff - when the company started it was just me on a part time basis, supported by one of the ladies from payroll.

The 15 years have seen the financial crisis, impressive stock market gains, historically low interest rates, and huge regulatory changes. A big thank you to all those who have introduced clients, friends, and have utilised our services themselves. We are very grateful for our clients’ support, and they have been a major factor in our success.

We have also been able to support a number of Charites, financially and through practical help, and give a number of young people a start on the career ladder by offering work experience with the opportunity to obtain workplace skills.

On a personal note, I have thoroughly enjoyed the last 15 years, have made good friends, and consider myself very fortunate to have had the support of an excellent team.

Let the celebrations begin!

Cliff Pocock Dip PFS
Director Financial Planning