Alliance & Leicester (A&L) began running financial education seminars on its share plans after the bank floated in 2000 to ensure that staff understood their potential exposure to tax liabilities and the stock market.
Paul Askew, share plans manager at A&L, says: “We saw a stockpiling of shares and having far too much exposure to the market. We couldn’t give employees financial advice directly so that’s one of the reasons we brought in Nelsons, now Close Wealth Management.” A&L runs all-employee sharesave and share incentive plans as well as executive share schemes.
Seminars are run not only at the launch of share plans, but also when they are about to mature so that employees are fully aware of issues around capital gains tax (CGT) liability and the risks of holding too much stock in one company. Following the first seminars, Askew noticed a change in behaviour with employees exercising their share options and selling stock within their CGT limits.