Scottish Widows International is closing for new business

Scottish Widdows International

With the news earlier this week that Scottish Widows International is closing for new business, many investors will be wondering where this news leaves them?

About 18 years ago the “global investor”, then provided by Clerical Medical International, was the chosen solution for the first £1,000,000 I handled. At that time, it was the new and shiny choice for wealthy investors. It offered a vast array of investment choices, including bank accounts, all within the convenient tax structure of the offshore single premium investment bond.

Who could ask for more?

Now, both I and the global investor account are a little older and new and shinier models are available.

Perhaps, the closure of this product to new investments and to top-ups (from the end of March) is inevitable and some fairly rich people will be wondering what effect this will have on them?

The press release is clear: it’s ‘business as usual’ for the existing customers.

Certainly the team on the island seem as efficient as ever. If we start to see gradual curtailments of the wide investment powers or gradual cost increases, I will be looking closely at the investments I manage to reduce exposure tax-efficiently if I need to. I’ll advise my clients in response to that.

I will also be looking quite closely at any “internal” managed funds, I always worry about the fate of those when as insurance company closes.

For now, I guess ‘it’s business as usual’ for me and my clients too.

Here's a little more information about our team:

Q: Qualifications Include

A: My degree in modern languages included a module on economics and personal finance, and that's how I got into financial planning.

Since then, I've become dual qualified as both a Certified Financial Planner and a Chartered Financial Planner, including the specialist qualifications in Tax & Trusts (G10) and Pensions (AF3/G60).

The full list is:

AF3 - Pensions (CII) (I did that to totally update my pension knowledge, as I had done G60 in 1994.)
K10 - Retirement Options (CII)
K20 - Pensions Investment Options (CII)
G20 - Personal Investment Planning (CII)
Chartered Financial Planner (CII)
ER1 - Equity Release (CII)
HR1 - Home Reversion Plans (CII)
G10 - Taxation and Trusts (CII)
CFP - Certified Financial Planner Licence (IFP)
H15 - Supervision and Sales (CII) 

In November 2016 I added the STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practicioners) Certificate for Financial Services.

Q: Do your clients have anything in common with each other?

A: They are all lovely and there are a few similarities in their aims that I've noticed. 

Many of my clients want to do more than just meet their own needs. They also see themselves as custodians of their money for the next generation or for other beneficiaries. 

In other cases, their aim is to manage their wealth efficiently during their lifetime, with the aim of spending it all… but minimising tax on the way there.

Q: What type of work do you enjoy most?

A: I do get a real sense of satisfaction from the work with those clients who engage me to manage the needs of two generations of the same time. That can be 'just' a long-term and balanced investment strategy or it can be trust planning and estate planning to avoid paying too much Inheritance Tax.

Q: Where would you be right now if you weren't at work?

A: In the Lakes

Q: In the film of your life, who would play you?

A: In my head, it's Uma Thurman, but I expect they would approach 'Nursey' from Blackadder II.

Q: Curry or Hot Pot?

A: Agh, too difficult. Curry.

Q: Sherbert or Chocolate?

A: Chocolate

Q: Lawn or Flowers?

A: Lawn

Q: What are you most likely to do whilst being 'on hold'?

A: Infuriate my colleagues by opening conversations then cutting off their reply when my call is answered.