More platforms accused of delaying Arch Cru offers

Both Aviva and Canada Life have admitted that they have been slow to act in sending out offer letters to Arch Cru investors on their platforms, citing it a “complex matter”.

On 31 August, the Financial Services Authority announced a £54m redress package for Arch Cru investors after reaching agreement with Capita, BNY Mellon and HSBC.

The deal would entitle investors to 70 per cent of of their investment at the time of the funds’ suspension. Commentators, however, have speculated that final offers may not even come to 50 per cent.

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Last week FTAdviser reported on criticism of several platforms that have been “slow to act” in sending out offer letters to Arch Cru investors. Law firm regulatory legal, which has set up a steering group to push for a judicial review into the investor offer, highlighted a perceived lack of action by Standard Life, Sanlam and Transact.

Standard Life confirmed to FTAdviser that it has not yet sent out offers to investors, while Sanlam said it was sending offers last week and Transact said that it sent out its offers to investors in mid-November.

Following the publication of this article several advisers with clients that invested in Arch Cru through the Aviva and Canada Life platforms contacted FTAdviser to state that they have similarly had no offer confirmation.

A spokesperson for Canada Life said that it has sent out its letter to investors yesterday (29 November), while Aviva has said that it is still preparing its mailing.

Canada Life said that on 28 October Capita Financial Managers sent Canada Life the application pack for the payment scheme, which detailed the payment offer being made for its policyholders. It also said that on 3 November 2011, Canada Life wrote to all affected policyholders to let them know that it had received details of the payment scheme.

The firm said that it set itself a 30 November deadline to send all letters to policyholders to confirm how the payment scheme will work in respect of each policyholder and how much money they will be entitled to under the payment scheme.

Canada Life said in a statement: “Canada Life contact details were supplied in the letter sent on 3 November 2011 in case policyholders had any questions in the meantime.

“The information received from Capita was provided at fund level, whereas the letters that we are issuing to our policyholders includes information relating to their Arch Cru holding and how the payment scheme applies to them.

“This information is important in order to help our policyholders make an informed decision. This has required system work and testing so a short delay between the information being received by us and the letters being issued has been necessary.

“The letters are due to be sent out on 29 November and policyholders have until the end of next year, 31 December 2012, to decide whether to accept the payment scheme offer. We have a specialist team available to deal with any policyholder enquiries relating to the payment scheme offer.”