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How one business is passionate about supporting rural Highlands

By Rachel Smart

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They are keen to support local residents with their financial needs.
They are keen to support local residents with their financial needs.

Rural communities in the Highlands notoriously lose out on having vital services in their local area and often must travel hundreds of miles for basic needs to be met. This costs people both time and money and can mean that they miss out on opportunities that people in larger areas have easy access to.

Phil Anderson Financial Services was determined to change this narrative for a community in the north-west of Scotland and that is why the business has spent time investing in staff and an office in Wick.

Offering mortgage, insurance, pension, investment and savings advice, the team in Caithness are passionate about helping local people to get the most out of their money and to provide them with the face-to-face service that they deserve.

The Caithness branch of Phil Anderson Financial Services has been operating for ten years, but it only opened an office in November 2022.

Kayleigh Ross and Louise Cormack are the dynamic duo in the office, and together they have just had two record breaking months through the services they have provided to locals.

For managing director Phil Anderson, being able to create a hub for people in Caithness is a personal passion of his, and he is extremely proud of the staff that he has working there.

Phil said: “Both Kayleigh and Louise are amazing – they both work really hard and play a vital role in the community.

“There are barely any financial advisors in Caithness and a lot of the banks have closed, so we are really pleased that we can provide our services to people when they are dealing with their finances.

“Having someone to talk to face-to-face provides people with reassurance when dealing with their money.”

25-year-old Kayleigh has worked for Phil Anderson Financial Services for two years having started off as a mortgage advisor. She has recently fully qualified as financial advisor, meaning that she can now provide more services to the area.

Louise works as an administrative assistant and will shortly begin her training so she can offer protection services such as life insurance and critical illness cover.

Louise Cormack.
Louise Cormack.

Phil said: “Kayleigh has had a really good month with mortgages, and she is always really busy with pension services, whether she is reviewing existing pensions or people are thinking about retiring.

“Louise is on the administrative side of things, and she is starting to study for her exams. I would think that within a year she will be able to do mortgages.

“They are a great team, and the only reason that Kayleigh can do what she does is because she has excellent admin support from Louise.”

Providing financial services in Caithness is not only good for people, but it is also beneficial to the housing market.

“It is good for the housing market in Caithness to have experts who can help people buy property”, explained Phil.

“It benefits the whole area having an office in Wick, and it also provides job opportunities for people like Kayleigh and Louise who may have had to travel away from their home to find something like they are in just now.

“I can definitely see us expanding the team and adding more offices across the region in order to offer our services to more people.”

Kayleigh Ross.
Kayleigh Ross.

Phil Anderson Financial Services originally began in 2010 in Aberdeenshire, and with offices in Ellon, Aberdeen and Yorkshire the team in Caithness have a wealth of experience to lean on when they need it.

Phil commented: “We’ve replicated what we have in Ellon in different places. The ethos of the business is to help people, and it is great to see that happening in Caithness.

“The girls in Wick can get in touch with the rest of the team anytime – there is so much knowledge that they can tap into. Kayleigh and Louise also join our team meetings online so they are really well connected with everyone else.”

In a survey conducted in 2022 by the Financial Conduct Authority it was found that just 16 per cent of regulated financial advisors were women. That is why Phil is proud that he has a female- led branch in Caithness, and his team beats these statistics.

“Statistically there are far fewer female financial advisors in the UK than there are men”, explained Phil.

“We have a real split and trump these numbers which is something that I am really pleased about.”

For Phil it is important that people seek financial advice, especially in the current economic climate.

Phil Anderson founder of Phil Anderson Financial Services. Picture: Abermedia / Michal Wachucik
Phil Anderson founder of Phil Anderson Financial Services. Picture: Abermedia / Michal Wachucik

He said: “People who take financial advice are generally better off than those who don’t.

“People can do it themselves but we can just save on the time and effort.

“Right now, with so much going on people are trying to watch their spending or are having to dip into pots of money, so it is an important time for reviewing finances.”

Not only does the business want to help clients, but it is also passionate about helping staff and creating a nurturing workplace – and this has been recognised by the industry having picked up for the award for the best financial advisor to work for in 2022.

Phil added: “I am a big believer that if you look after your team, then they’ll look after your clients.”

Phil also has his own podcast, The UK Personal Finance Show, which gets over 10,000 downloads a month. It aims to help people with everyday queries about finances and remove some of the jargon for people.

Phil Anderson Financial Services.
Phil Anderson Financial Services.

Phil Anderson Financial Services,

13 Kirk Lane, Wick, Caithness, KW1 4NN

W: www.philandersonfinancial.co.uk

T: 01955 952117

E: wick@philandersonfinancial.co.uk

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