Canada Life won’t restrict life bond withdrawals

The company has confirmed it won’t restrict withdrawals from life assurance bonds – even in cases where some of the money is in suspended UK property funds

Canada Life has confirmed that it hasn’t restricted withdrawals from its life assurance bonds, even in cases where investors have some of their money in suspended UK property funds.

The announcement comes after Standard Life refused to let some customers cash in investments from their life bonds, even though only a small part of the money was held in property. But Canada Life is assuring investors that it won’t restrict withdrawals from non-suspended funds – even if a suspended property fund is included within the life bond.

Canada Life did pause trading in six property funds on the heels of Brexit. It said the deferral was to protect shareholders who had invested in the funds, which have a combined value of about £500 million. But the company’s onshore and international bonds operate under a system which can accommodate “funds specific” withdrawals.

“This approach is subject to our usual product rules, such as ensuring enough value is retained,” a Canada Life spokesman said. “It is also worth remembering that if a suspended property fund is the only asset held, then we would queue the withdrawal until the suspension is lifted.”

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