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FSCAS

State of disaster – Financial Adviser has critical role to play

The declaration of a national state of disaster by President Ramaphosa on 15 March 2020 has shaken the entire country to its core and will hopefully mobilise all South Africans to work together and take all possible steps to arrest the spread of the COVID-19 Virus.

At Moonstone we believe strongly that now is a time of: “Cometh the hour cometh the financial advisor”.

We are all aware of the bloodbath on the world stock exchanges during the past couple of days and the JSE has not been spared. It will now be up to you, the financial advisors and financial institutions to guide and counsel clients to refrain from knee-jerk reactions and to help them navigate during these uncertain times.

Clients will have to re-look their insurance portfolios; not only in respect of their life risk products, but also their short-term portfolios. Business interruption provisions and general risk management will be top of mind with clients and they will be turning to you for advice. You will need to be the eyes and ears of your clients when it comes to the fine print. This could very well be the “new” material terms not disclosed during the advice process, but which has now become very relevant as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

With all of the above in mind we implore you to consider your current business operations and contingency planning. Please consider what plans you have in place to be able to continue to serve your clients, should you be required to close your offices or have staff placed into self-isolation. Consider what technologies you can utilise to meet electronically and transact remotely. You will be sorely needed in the coming weeks and potentially months.

At Moonstone we are taking this crisis very seriously. As a result, Moonstone has established a Dedicated Response Team made up of different elements of our business including the executive, finance, communication, human resources and health and safety.

The DRT functions will involve:

This team will be responsible to meet frequently to develop, implement and oversee business contingency plans.
To manage and prioritise imperatives.
To establish and maintain internal and external protocols for communication with all stakeholders.
To monitor and respond to developments.

All of our compliance officers are equipped with the tools to service clients remotely via video conferencing, telephone conferencing as well as remotely monitoring transactions should the need arise or clients request same.

Moonstone Compliance is fortunate in that our professional staff are spread out geographically which mitigates the risk of cross infection between colleagues to a great extent, but irrespective of that we have sufficient resources available that a qualified compliance officer will be available to assist clients should your current compliance officer not be able to assist.

The FSCA has also just released an update to customers on industry measures taken during this period.

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