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CLOSE ASSET MANAGEMENT (AM)/CLOSE BROTHERS SERVICES TO ALACE MEMBERS TO BE WITHDRAWN

The trade union for local authority chief executives and senior managers

CLOSE ASSET MANAGEMENT (AM)/CLOSE BROTHERS SERVICES TO ALACE MEMBERS TO BE WITHDRAWN

As ALACE members will know, Close AM/Close Brothers have provided a ‘Financial Planning and Investment Management Service’ for individual members for the last 8 years. Last year they also introduced a new ‘Annual Allowance (AA) and Tax Return Service’ to help members calculate whether or not they had a tapered AA, whether they owed any AA tax charges and, if so, how much, and how to complete their tax returns in respect of the 2017/18 tax year correctly.

Following a strategic review of its business, the company has now decided to withdraw from this sort of work. It will not therefore be taking on any new cases, though it recognises that it needs to continue to support its existing clients. Those ALACE members who have already signed up as clients of Close’s full ‘Investment Management Service’ will therefore continue to be supported by Close as they have in the past and they will see no change in the service they receive. Any ALACE member who used Close’s ‘AA and Tax Return Service’ last year to complete their tax return for the 2017/18 tax year will also be able to use that service again this year for the tax year 2018/19, although for an increased charge of £350; but the service will not be available to them for any future tax years (i.e. for 2019/20 and beyond). Close will not, however, be able to take on any new people for this AA and Tax Return Service.

There are a number of ALACE members who are currently speaking to Close about whether or not (i) to avail themselves of the AA and Tax Return Service or (ii) to become a formal investment and financial planning client of Close (the current charge for this service is £1,250 + VAT). Steve Leonard, ALACE’s main contact at Close, has said that Close will not be able to help those in the former category (unless, possibly, they decide to sign up as a full investment client of Close’s), but he will continue discussions with those in the latter category; and, if any of them do decide to become a formal client of Close, they will be supported in the same way in the future as existing clients. Steve is happy to speak to anyone who is already in touch with him about their situation.

ALACE will be considering urgently whether, and if so how best, to arrange for a similar service to be provided to ALACE members in the future.