Article date: 4 November 2009
Aviva, the UK’s largest insurer, has today lifted restrictions on withdrawals from its unit-linked UK property fund.
Aviva introduced restrictions on surrenders, switches and transfers from the Aviva Unit-Linked Property Fund (Life and Pensions) on 22 January 2009 following a difficult period in the UK commercial property market between 2007 and 2009. The restrictions applied to investors in life bonds and pensions, and requests to move money out of the fund could be deferred for up to a maximum of six months. * (See note to editors).
Customers will now be able to surrender, switch or transfer investments from the fund in line with normal business practice.
David Barral, marketing director at Aviva, said: “Aviva introduced deferred withdrawals from the fund to safeguard the interests of all investors in what was an extremely difficult time for the UK commercial property market. We understand that restricting withdrawals was inconvenient for some investors but this enabled us to sell properties at more attractive values, which was in the interests of the majority of investors. We want to thank investors in the fund for their patience during this period, with most having to wait up to four months rather than the maximum six.
“With improving conditions in the commercial property market, Aviva is now confident that current cash levels are sustainable. This enables us to lift the current restrictions for all investors in the fund from today.”
For further information, please contact:
Telephone: 01904 452659
Mobile: 07800 693187
Notes to editors:
About deferral of settlement*
Deferred settlement is allowed under Aviva’s product terms and conditions and means some customers may have to wait up to six months to withdraw some or all of their investment in the fund.
Life & Pension products affected were onshore bonds, individual and corporate pensions, Aviva and JV SIPP, & TIP contracts. Offshore bonds and collective investments were not affected.
The deferral period has not applied where a contractual maturity, retirement, death claim has been made and customers who had previously arranged regular withdrawals have continued to receive their money.
Aviva, the international savings, investments and insurance group, is the world’s fifth largest insurance group, serving 50 million customers across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.
In the UK, Aviva is a leading provider of life, pensions, investment, general insurance and health products to more than 20 million customers. Aviva also provides roadside assistance through RAC. Products are distributed through a number of channels including IFAs, brokers, corporate partners and direct to customers via the internet.
Aviva's UK Insurance business has a market share of around 15%, making it the largest general insurer in the UK. The business is focused on insurance for individuals and small businesses.
Aviva's life and pensions business in the UK has a total market share of 12% and a top three position in its key markets of savings, protection, and annuities.
Aviva’s news releases and a selection of images are available from the internet press centre at www.aviva.com/media.