Posted by Flora Maudsley-Barton | February 10, 2012
Scottish Widows International is closing for new business
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.