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Institution Protection Limits - Stocks and Shares ISA

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When reading about the protection levels on Stocks and Shares ISAs, I am not sure if the protection applies to Standard Life as an institution or to each individual fund manager (e.g. AXA, M&G, Blackrock etc.)

I have a stocks and shares ISA with Standard Life, but also I have two pensions with them - one is with profits.

Recently my ISA has grown to £100k+ and my pensions have a reasonable amount of value between them.  Should I be worried?

If I want to continue to invest in a stocks ISA should I stop paying into Standard Life and take out a new one in April?  Should I (or can I even) move some of the ISA to another provider?  


Comments

  • Albermarle
    Albermarle Posts: 22,835 Forumite
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    This is a regular question on the forum.
    Normally the ISA/pension provider has £85K cover, which would mainly cover fraud, mismanagement etc. It would also cover any monies lost if they went bust, but more likely in this case they would be sold/taken over .
    Each investment fund house has also £85K cover.

    It is different with Standard Life as they are known as an insurer. Any pension funds you have with them are technically fully covered for compensation without limit, not sure about funds in S&S ISA's.

    In any case it is all a bit theoretical, because as long as you stick with mainstream providers, the chance of them having problems is vanishingly small. Many posters on this forum have hundreds of thousands with one pension/investment platform, some have Millions I am sure.
  • Linton
    Linton Posts: 17,277 Forumite
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    edited 7 March 2023 at 4:08PM
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    There is £85K compensation limit for the ISA provider and for each fund provider.  Though in your case I guess they are the same company which could mean £85K in total.

    Pension funds are different as they are explicitly 100% insured.

    In practice many larger investors on this forum, including myself, have more than £85K held with individual investment account providers  and fund providers without any concerns.  The reason is that with banks when you deposit money, that money is owned by the bank and could be used to pay the bank's debts.  You are merely one of many creditors. WIth investments ownership ultimately remains with the investor.  The fund and account managers just have the right to manage the investments.  The invested money cannot be used to pay the provider's debts.

    What is likely to happen if one of the companies went bust is that the account and investments would be taken over by some other company.  You as a customer are a valuable asset.  The only realistic risk that has been identifed is that there may be a delay in being able to access the investments whilst the technicalities and staffing are sorted out.  So depending on your need for unnterrupted access to your money you may want to set up some investments elsewhere.

    This area has been discussed many times on this forum. The only other risk than a provider going bust is some gigantic fraud where SL is just a criminal front syphoning off your money.    As long as you are dealing with mainstream regulated companies this is considered practically impossible and not worth considering.  
  • wmb194
    wmb194 Posts: 3,475 Forumite
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    You have to be careful with Standard Life as it doesn't really exist anymore: it's either as a brand name of Phoenix or you're actually referring to something that remained with abrdn. Did Isas transfer to Phoenix with pensions or did they remain with abrdn? 
  • dunstonh
    dunstonh Posts: 116,878 Forumite
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    I have a stocks and shares ISA with Standard Life, but also I have two pensions with them - one is with profits.
    If the pensions are in insured funds, the WP fund will be, then you get 100% FSCS protection with no upper limit.

    Recently my ISA has grown to £100k+ and my pensions have a reasonable amount of value between them.  Should I be worried?
    No. 

    Also, note that S&S ISAs that invest in shares, ITs, ETFs or other direct assets get no FSCS protection at that level.


    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.
  • Albermarle
    Albermarle Posts: 22,835 Forumite
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    wmb194 said:
    You have to be careful with Standard Life as it doesn't really exist anymore: it's either as a brand name of Phoenix or you're actually referring to something that remained with abrdn. Did Isas transfer to Phoenix with pensions or did they remain with abrdn? 
    You are right that Standard Life are part of Phoenix, but I think it is more than just a brand name. They still have an identity separate from Phoenix, with different IT, legacy products etc . Unusually for a Phoenix company they are still taking on new pension business, encouraging people to transfer to them, and in fact seemed to have increased their advertising recently.
    On the other hand I notice the website has changed a little recently, and I think they are starting to outsource some of their customer service, which may mean their usual good service may not continue.
    Also they do not seem to offer S&S ISA's anymore. They used to, so maybe the OP has one from the past that is still active.
  • wmb194
    wmb194 Posts: 3,475 Forumite
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    edited 7 March 2023 at 7:09PM
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    wmb194 said:
    You have to be careful with Standard Life as it doesn't really exist anymore: it's either as a brand name of Phoenix or you're actually referring to something that remained with abrdn. Did Isas transfer to Phoenix with pensions or did they remain with abrdn? 
    You are right that Standard Life are part of Phoenix, but I think it is more than just a brand name. They still have an identity separate from Phoenix, with different IT, legacy products etc . Unusually for a Phoenix company they are still taking on new pension business, encouraging people to transfer to them, and in fact seemed to have increased their advertising recently.
    On the other hand I notice the website has changed a little recently, and I think they are starting to outsource some of their customer service, which may mean their usual good service may not continue.
    Also they do not seem to offer S&S ISA's anymore. They used to, so maybe the OP has one from the past that is still active.
    Right, but this is why I'm wondering whether it's actually still with abrdn (Aberdeen as was) as it has offered Isas for decades. If so, it would be a second institution and another £85k worth of FSCS coverage. The OP needs to check.
  • dunstonh
    dunstonh Posts: 116,878 Forumite
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    You are right that Standard Life are part of Phoenix, but I think it is more than just a brand name. They still have an identity separate from Phoenix, with different IT, legacy products etc . Unusually for a Phoenix company they are still taking on new pension business, encouraging people to transfer to them, and in fact seemed to have increased their advertising recently.
    Not helped by the fact that many of the Abrdn forms still say Standard Life on them.
    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.
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