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Insurance giant blocks customer withdrawals

Insurance giant blocks customer withdrawals

Insurance giant blocks customer withdrawals Customers of insurance giant Standard Life who have money in life assurance bonds will no longer be able to cash in any of their investments.

According to a Financial Adviser report, the firm has confirmed that customers who have invested in some of its bonds will not be able to withdraw funds on a temporary basis if the investment was held in insured property funds.

Reacting to the decision, IFA Simon Every told the publication that the firm had “shot itself in the foot” and commented that he had £6 million of clients’ assets which were being “held to ransom”. Every, of advice firm Hill Grafford, allegedly received a letter from the Funds-Network platform stating that trading on the entire bond had been stopped.

As a result, withdrawal requests made before or during the fund suspension would be “held in a queue” until the fund reopens.

In reaction, a spokeswoman for Standard Life informed Financial Adviser that all ad-hoc withdrawals had been stopped due to the way part surrenders are processed on its system.

In total, eight commercial property funds were forced to defer withdrawals or even suspend trading following an investor panic and pull out from investment vehicles on the back of the EU referendum. The issue has also hit other investments with Standard Life bond holders that hold shares in three property funds – the £1.8 billion Aviva Investors Property Trust Life Fund, the £4 billion Henderson UK Property Life Fund and the £4.4 billion M&G Property Portfolio Life Fund – prohibited from cashing in investments within the wrapper.

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