Countrywide is favouring Scottish Widows and Clerical Medical as with-profits bond providers on its ...
Countrywide is favouring Scottish Widows and Clerical Medical as with-profits bond providers on its product panel and has included Prudential's Prudence Bond only after slightly relaxing its judging criteria.
The Clerical Medical Sovereign and Classic bonds are on its list along with the Royal and SunAlliance unitised bond and the Scottish Mutual with profits investment bond.
Countrywide's criteria includes choosing life offices that do not use market value adjustors on or after the 10th anniversary of the bond, as it is keen on insurers that are willing to allow investors access to declared returns. But the network is prepared to relax this condition slightly and give the benefit of the doubt to insurers that have declared a 'best endeavour' not to apply an MVA.
Under this condition, Countrywide has added Prudential and Norwich Union to its panel. The products included are the Norwich Union Bicentenary with profits bond and Flexi Bond and the initial charge and zero spread versions of the Prudence Bond.
The network also applies the condition that the with-profits fund of a provider should be at least £1bn in size and the life office should have a financial strength rating of AA or higher from Standard & Poor's.
Countrywide also favours with-profits funds able to sustain at least a 60% exposure to equities.
Despite improved risk appetite
FOS award limit increase
Relates to 136 million transaction reports
Ceremony will take place 13 November