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Friends Provident International - Unable to Surrender?

I am unable to surrender a strategic growth policy that I have with Friends Provident International. (This has recently been transferred into my name as part of divorce settlement).  They emailed me to inform me of the value and now that I want to surrender this, the value has drastically decreased.  The reason given is as below;-

The surrender valuation table sent to you and the confirmation I have personally provided have been in relation to the overall total of your account. 

 Unfortunately however, out of the 4 funds you are invested in, 2 of these are currently suspended and therefore no value is available to be sent out at this momentfor suspended funds. 


Is there anything I can do?  Who can I complain to? 



  • Dox
    Dox Forumite Posts: 3,116
    1,000 Posts Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    Why do you believe you have grounds for complaint? The terms of your policy will allow for funds to be suspended when necessary (e.g. where it can't be accurately valued - property funds spring to mind - the FCA rules stipulate that it must be suspended).
  • Malthusian
    Malthusian Forumite Posts: 10,648
    Eighth Anniversary 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    What funds are suspended? (Commercial property funds are the obvious answer, but as it's an offshore bond, toxic junk is a possibility.)
    Any complaint over misselling would be for your ex, not you (and there are no grounds in your post to suggest he has one either).
    You had the option to decline the transfer of investments and insist on cash as part of the settlement, even if it meant a lower value at the time. Did you consult an independent financial adviser as to the ongoing suitability of the investments being transferred to you? This wouldn't be a solicitor's area, they would just be looking at the values as they stood at the time and not what might happen to them after the transfer.
  • DYork2020MH
    DYork2020MH Forumite Posts: 6
    First Post
    Thanks for your replies.  
    It's been a messy divorce, been to court 4 x for the finances, mainly due to his lack of information shall we say.  Impossible to have a conversation with him about this.    
  • dunstonh
    dunstonh Forumite Posts: 114,256
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Is there anything I can do? 

    Wait until the funds are no longer suspended.

    Who can I complain to? 

    Complaining won't change anything as they cannot surrender regardless of what you say.

    Property funds, were suspended from trading at the start of lockdown as property valuers could not value properties and the FCA requires funds to suspend if they cannot value at least 80% of the assets.   

    A couple of property funds were already suspended due to liquidity issues i.e. people wanting to withdraw but not enough cash in the fund to meet them requiring a property or two to be sold.  However, lockdown has delayed that as well and most property funds are not expected to reopen again for a good few more months and maybe not until next year.    Although it is largely guesswork at this time.   Property funds are expected to lose value this year as well as demand for office and retail space has fallen away.

    Hence, there is no complaint to make to FP as there is no wrongdoing.   Ideally, what should have happened is that you or your IFA (if you have one) could have assessed the investments prior to them becoming suspended and adjustments made to suit your objectives.    That assumes you took ownership of this investment prior to January this year.  If you only recently took ownership of it then it was already too late to do anything.

    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • Sebo027
    Sebo027 Forumite Posts: 211
    Third Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper
    Friend's Provident "products" are often sold to expats who are encouraged to open "tax efficient" offshore bonds in Cyprus, Isle of Man, Guernsey etc. Often these products come with high fees, which eat into your returns, and early surrender fees, particularly if the money is part of a fixed term savings plan. These can be significant. You should obtain all the necessary policy documentation to fully understand the situation with the investment you have acquired. 
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