Stratford Ladies Networking Lunch – High tea at Ettington Park

Tues 9th July 2013     3:30 – 5:30 pm

Whether you are new to business or have been established for a number of years this is a great opportunity to build valuable business contacts either to help support your business as a supplier or someone you can work on projects jointly with or as potential new customers.

By putting like-minded women together who are committed to growing and developing their business.

Come Dine with HB&O

Come dine with HB&O

HB&O is backing the Nifty Fifty Challenge organised by the Shakespeare Hospice, an independent charity based in Stratford-upon-Avon that supports families affected by life-limiting illness.

The charity is currently inviting supporters to generate as much money as possible from an initial £50, with all proceeds going to help local families.

As part of our support for the Nifty Fifty Challenge, we hope you will join us at the Macdonald Alveston Manor Hotel for a fundraising dinner on 11 July.

The evening will start with pre dinner drinks from 7pm followed by a three-course dinner and coffee at 7.30pm. Post dinner entertainment includes music from a local band and a performance from Judge The Poet. There will be an auction and raffle with amazing prizes.

The cost of the event is £35 per head, with all proceeds going to the Shakespeare Hospice.

If you would like to come dine with us, please contact Sarah Wilson or Helen Coombes at or or telephone 01926 422 292.

Where do you go when the banks don’t want to know?

apr13-financeFind out at our free seminar on Monday, 10th June 2013

Ongoing difficulty in sourcing bank finance has led to a surge in resourceful businesses and their advisers turning to non-bank lending options. That is why the team at HB&O would like to invite you to attend a Seminar led by Ludgate Finance Director, Richard Mason.

Ludgate Finance is an accredited sponsor for ThinCats, which brings together private investors in syndicates to provide business loans from £50,000 to £1 million.

This seminar will provide an expert insight into this growing quality lender and how, as a sponsor, Ludgate Finance can support potential borrowers with due diligence, structuring their proposal and presenting the opportunity to the lenders.

Event Details:

Time:  Registration and breakfast rolls at 8am. The seminar will commence at 8.30am and conclude at 9.30am for Q&A

Venue: Episode Hotel, 64 Upper Holly Walk, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire CV32 4JL


To book your place at this valuable seminar please RSVP to Caroline Trainor on 01926 422 292 or email by Friday, 24 May 2013.

Changes ahead for Charities

Almost two years after George Osborne announced that he was going to introduce a new scheme to enable charities to obtain a top-up payment for cash donations, the new rules came into effect on 6 April 2013. As with so much in recent tax developments, what started out as a good and simple idea has become complex and care needs to be taken when using the new rules!

The Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme

At a basic level, a charity (including Community Amateur Sports Clubs) will be able to claim a top-up payment from HMRC when it receives individual cash donations no greater than £20. The sums do not have to be in sterling but they must be collected in the UK and paid into a UK bank account. The rules will cover items such as church collections, street collecting tins and bucket collections at carnival parades. The top-up payment is calculated like Gift Aid, so on cash donations of £1,000 the charity would receive £250 from HMRC. The annual maximum amount that can be subject to a top-up is the lower of:

  • £5,000; or
  • 10 times the amount on which Gift Aid was claimed by the charity for the same tax year.

Accordingly, a charity will need to reclaim Gift Aid on at least £500 of donations in order to receive the maximum top-up. If the charity makes no Gift Aid claim it will not be able to benefit at all from the scheme.

How does a charity qualify?

In order to qualify for the scheme, a charity must be what is termed an ‘eligible charity’. This means it must have been in existence for at least two complete UK tax years and must be able to show to HMRC that it has a Gift Aid compliance record. It will do this if it has made successful Gift Aid claims in at least two out of the four preceding tax years and there has not been a period of at least two years for which it did not make a claim.

This may mean that a charity may have to wait a year or two before it is eligible to join the scheme but it will be important in the meantime to ensure that Gift Aid claims are made.

Getting relief on more than £5,000?

If a charity runs activities in a local community building such as a church hall, town hall or church and those attending such events make donations in that building (these must not be charges for entering) then the charity may be able to claim a further top-up payment on the ‘community building amount’. This can be up to a further £5,000 if the donations made in the building exceed that figure. To qualify, the organisation must be running events on at least six occasions in the year and at least 10 people must attend.

This community building amount can be in addition to the core figure, although if all of the activities are conducted in the same building there will only be a single £5,000 available. The combined figure is still subject to the 10 x Gift Aid limit, so to obtain a top-up payment on £10,000 a charity would need to make a Gift Aid claim on at least £1,000.

The real purpose behind the community building amount is to benefit local branches of national or regional charities which run local activities. In these cases, depending on the precise constitution of the charity, it is likely that the core £5,000 will have to be shared between connected charities which could mean only a very minimal amount going to individual local branches. However, each local branch carrying out its local community activities will be able to claim its own community building amount and this will be unrestricted.

If you are likely to be affected by this rule we would suggest that you contact your parent charity for guidance on how the rules are likely to apply.

The administration of Gift Aid

The mechanism for making top-up claims is similar to normal Gift Aid claims and can be on the new Gift Aid claim form ChR1, which replaced the R68 from April 2013, or via the new online service (see below). In addition, there are a number of other administrative changes which also started in April:

  • simpler procedures for the donation of cash proceeds following the sale of donated goods by charities;
  • an online repayment process, Charities Online, for Gift Aid claims for fewer than 1,000 donors; and
  • changes to the donor information that charities need to provide with their repayment claims.

The online service will also allow charities to aggregate individual Gift Aid donations of £20 or less up to a total of £1,000 per entry and all donations for someone taking part in a sponsored event will be accepted as a single entry under the name of the participant.

There are many changes ahead for charities, so if you would like to discuss any of them please feel free to get in touch.

Author: Mark Ashfield

Free Will review for HB&O Clients

Keeping on top of your financial affairs is always a wise move. That includes ensuring that your Will continues to reflect your wishes and personal circumstances.

It’s a sensible step to review your Will at least every five years or after any major life event, such as marrying, buying a house, the birth of a child, divorcing or retiring.

At HB&O, we understand that people lead busy lives and it’s easy to put off a Will review to another day.

We also understand how important it is to keep your Will up-to-date. That is why we are offering all our clients a free Will review, in return for a £25 donation to our nominated charity for 2013, the Heart of England Community Foundation.

There will only be a charge, at our standard rates, for our work in making any changes required.

Our free review will give you peace of mind that your personal affairs are in good order – avoiding confusion or questions over your estate in the future – as well as benefiting a very worthwhile cause.

For more information, or to arrange an appointment, please contact Donald Hunter directly at  (tel: 01926 422292).

Is your home as safe as houses?


Before signing up to your mortgage lender’s own protection plans, why not take advantage of Harrison Beale & Owen’s free ‘independent’ research?

When buying a new home, along with the mortgage fees and monthly payments come other costs incurred in protecting your home and financial security, such as life assurance, income protection and critical illness cover.

Although it may seem easier to buy these products through your mortgage lender, you can make big monthly savings simply by researching the market thoroughly. But how do you know which option will deliver the best value and is best suited to your needs?

How we can help

My name is Thomas Dawe and I am an Independent Financial Adviser, based in Blockley, Gloucestershire. I work for Harrison Beale & Owen Financial Services, a Chartered Financial Planning firm based in Leamington Spa.

I will happily research the insurance market on your behalf (free of charge) to ensure that you are purchasing the right products at the right price. If you would like to arrange an appointment to discuss your requirements, please contact me:

Call 07833 474764 or email

Note: I am also fully qualified to advise you on pensions, investments, inheritance tax planning and most other areas of financial services. All initial consultations are free of charge.

Auto-enrolment: Is your Business Ready?

Automatic enrolment of employees into workplace pension schemes has already begun. By 2018, every UK employer will have been brought on board.

Although the date that you begin enrolling your employees may seem a long way ahead, there are many questions you need to be asking now…

  • Do my business’s current pension arrangements qualify as an automatic enrolment scheme?
  • Do we have the resources in-house to cope with the extra administration?
  • Can we meet the deadlines to have new processes in place and be ready to meet new record-keeping and reporting responsibilities?

To help you prepare for the challenges ahead, HB&O Financial Services is inviting you to a free, expert seminar on Wednesday, 1 May 2013. The seminar will include:

  • An introduction to auto-enrolment and employers’ responsibilities by Phil Hurst, pensions technical manager at financial services specialist Aegon
  • HB&O Financial Services’ auto-enrolment solution, by Tom Driver and Thomas Dawe, Independent Financial Advisers at HB&O Financial Services.

Each delegate will also receive a free, bespoke report, setting out how and when auto-enrolment will affect your business. Based on information supplied to us before the seminar, your report will identify key dates in the auto-enrolment process and the actions you need to take.

Date: Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Time: 8am-9am or 12 noon-1pm.

Visit our website to register for this Event :