As the coronavirus situation develops, we’re doing all we can to support you when you need us, while keeping our people safe. To help with any concerns you may have about your investments held with us, we’ve put together a list of frequently asked questions.
All investments carry a degree of risk and as we’ve seen from the coronavirus pandemic, investment markets all over the world have been impacted. In the short-term, volatility for equity markets will continue with potential sharp drops and rises as the market reacts to a constant stream of virus-related headlines.
As investments are intended to be held for the long-term, typically 5 years or more, it’s reaching your long-term goal that matters most.
Santander Asset Management UK has produced a back to basics guide to investing through challenging times. You can also get help and useful information from the Money Advice Service which provides guidance about all issues to do with money, for all ages.
All of the funds we distribute are regulated collective investment schemes. This means they must meet all of the strict rules around how they are constructed, including that the assets of the fund itself are held by a separate custodian and overseen by an independent trustee or ‘depositary’. All units that you hold in the fund are also not part of Santander’s UK’s balance sheet and would remain protected at all times, however the value of the units will still be affected by market fluctuations.
This environment is very challenging, and some companies will be making cuts to planned dividend payments. This means that funds that hold shares in these companies will receive less income from them. If you’re invested in a fund that pays income you may receive less than before. If you invest in a fund that accumulates income, the overall performance of the fund may be impacted.
We’ve been advised by Santander Asset Management UK that the day-to-day management of the funds isn’t affected by the current challenges. The fund managers can operate remotely, and this will continue as long as necessary. The funds continue to be managed to the fund objectives and investment policy.
Much depends on the fund you are invested in. Most of these funds operate to specific risk parameters and are also subject to investment objectives and policies. In general the funds’ asset allocation, that is how the fund is split between different asset types, has altered in reaction to the current conditions. This is part of the business as usual management of funds with multiple asset types.
Don’t forget, you can always check how your fund is performing by logging on to the Investment Hub
We send out value drop notices if the total value of an individual’s portfolio falls by 10% or more, and thereafter in multiples of 10%. The regulator has indicated that further 10% drop notices need not be issued, with certain conditions so we’re reviewing our stance. For Model Portfolio Service you can view your valuation online at any time. For Premium Investments you will need to contact our Client Services team on 0800 678 3783.
The make up of your portfolio can change because if your portfolio starts to move too far away from the model portfolio, we will ‘rebalance’ it to bring it more in line. Due to the recent market volatility, you may have seen more transactions than usual within your portfolio in an effort to rebalance it and ensure it remains within your risk profile.
If you are invested in the Model Portfolio Service, as part of the ongoing management of the portfolios, some changes have also been made to the underlying funds that make up the models by Santander Asset Management UK.
The process of rebalancing and reviewing the make-up of the portfolios will of course continue as part of the business as usual ongoing portfolio management.
Santander serves over 124 million customers around the world. Our strong financial position, together with our business resilience and risk-reduction strategies, means we’re very confident in our ability to keep meeting our commitments to you, our customers.
As the coronavirus outbreak continues, we’re doing all we can to support you whilst keeping our people safe. With fewer colleagues on hand and an unprecedented number of calls coming in, we can’t speak to as many customers as we’d like. We’ve had to reduce our opening hours and we’re also taking longer than usual to reply to letters and emails. We’ve also had to close some branches and reduce the opening hours for those that remain open from 10am - 2pm.
You can always log on and check your accounts if you manage your investment(s) online. If you’d like to speak to one of our advisers to review your investments with us you can book a telephone appointment through our website. Thank you for your patience and understanding in these exceptional circumstances.
In light of market volatility from the coronavirus, we strongly advise you not to panic. When it comes to investments, decisions made in haste and under stress are rarely good ones. Remember investing is for the medium to long-term which means at least 5 years.
You may find some further helpful information in Santander Asset Management UK’s Back to Basics: A guide to investing in challenging times
If you hold a capital protected Fixed Term Investment or Stock market Linked Bond, you’ll receive a maturity pack from us at least 30 days before your plan ends to explain your options along with any instructions on how you can notify us of what options you would like to take.
If you hold a Santander Private Annual Kick Out Plan investment which is due to kick-out you won’t receive a maturity pack. Instead you will be contacted by your Private Banker to let you know what your next steps might be.
Yes we do. The team at Santander Asset Management UK provide regular views on investments and the markets through a number of channels. You can try some of the below:
- Back to Basics – Your guide to investing through challenging times
- Market Views: Check Point Podcast– A fortnightly podcast on the latest Investment news and views from our team at Santander Asset Management UK which can be found on their Markets & Insights section of their website alongside other helpful resources
- State of Play – A weekly investment blog from Santander Asset Management UK’s Investment Specialist
- Learn about investing – How to get started in investing
- Coronavirus Q & A from the Santander Group
- Get the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak - the impact on your investments on Santander Asset Management UK’s social media channels. Follow on twitter or LinkedIn