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Fidelity to shut windfall Isas

Fidelity is to close its windfall Isa scheme after the number of accounts dropped from a peak of 200,000 to 34,000.

Windfall Isas came to prominence in 1997 when many investors received windfall shares from financial institutions, which demutualised and floated.

A number of groups have since closed their windfall Isas for these shares as investors transferred into other investments.

Investors can switch into any fund on Fidelity FundsNetwork or transfer out in cash to another Isa plan manager. Those who do not make a decision will have all their shares placed in the moneybuilder index fund.

The closing dates for the windfall Isas is October 1.

A Fidelity spokeswoman says: “Fidelity is to close its windfall Isa service due to declining demand. Several other fund companies had windfall Isa services and closed within a year or two of opening, we maintained our free service for many years.

“Fidelity is giving remaining customers a choice of what to do with their windfall Isa proceeds which preserve the tax benefits of their Isa account.”

Hargreaves Lansdown head of research Mark Dampier says: “These accounts have been closing as the likes of Alliance & Leicester, Bradford & Bingley and Halifax have all struggled or gone bust. They have been disastrous and people have found better options.”

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Comments

There are 20 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Had a letter off Fidelity on sat morning about them closing down the windfall accounts i own,they have offered me two options but i only want my shares back,they say i cant have them back……Is that correct?

  2. John

    I share your sentiments and if Fidelity insist that they are right I will be withdrawing my entire portfolio from their management.

    I think they may have seriously underestimated the investor effect of what they are trying to do.

  3. It makes a bit of a joke of the FSA’s platform discussion paper and the issue of re-registration when Fidelity are not even offerring the option of re-reg of the shares to a different platform!

  4. I’ve just phoned Fidelity who have been no help at all. We would like to keep our shares and feel blackmailed to stay with Fidelity. It’s unlikely that we will do so. Is it legal?

  5. Just had my letter and if I can stop them selling my shares, I too will be closing all accounts with them. I can find nothing in my paperwork from account opening to say I could not get my shares back – anyone any ideas?

  6. I can see why Fidelity would want to close down these accounts, but it’s the lack of options I object to: you can’t keep the shares; you can only transfer all the funds into just one of their other Unit Trusts / OIECs. Too inflexible. Do we just accept these terms, or is anyone up for a fight ?

  7. I also want my shares kept in Aviva especially as they are currently the subject of takeover talks and the shares are likely to rise in value. Is this legal what Fidelity are doing? As an American company, surely they must be subject to tighter controls than being allowed to blackmail customers?

  8. I am also unimpressed with this move i have a large portfolio that WILL be completely moved if this is the only action that is allowed. I wish to retain the shares i have.

  9. Hi – i have Aviva shares and want to keep them, i had no joy when i rang Fidelity and would be prepared to fight them over this.
    Would a representation to the Financial Onbudsman be in order.
    i can post an email address if that would get the ball rolling

  10. I have got quite a number of Lloyds shares with them. I got them as Halifax shares in 1997 and have seen their value and number plummet.
    Now that Lloyds is starting to show a profit and the promise of a bumper dividend in 2012 Fidelity want to rob me of any increased value!! Not happy one bit. Will withdraw my other accounts with them if this happens. What is the next move?

  11. It appears that all other companies have closed this type of service down a long time ago, so I’m surprised Fidelity have kept it going so long. This was never anything more than a tax-free placeholder for ‘free money’. I am happy with the options I have been given and will be moving at no charge into the default fund. Can the rest of you stop moaning for the sake of moaning … You would find a reason to complain if you were handed free money – Oh you are!

  12. II do not understand why they will not allow the option to return the shares even at a small cost; I also will be withdrawing all Fidelity investments if this situation is not reversed.

  13. Has anyone any documentation when they put the shares into the ISA, i have turned the house over and cannot find anything.
    When i spoke to Fidelity they say I signed ownership of the shares to them, i wanted to check what the “contract” said to check if they are correct.

  14. Only idiots still have windfall Shares, man up.

  15. I agree Fidelity are doing us a favour. We don’t own the shares or have certificates, they are all in Fidelity’s name. We agreed that when placing them into the ISA. Take the money and run – greedy lot you don’t deserve the free switch.

  16. These shares have never performed and even a passively managed index tracker is going to do better than they do. To be honest, I am pleased that Fidelity have brough tthis up otherwise I would probably have left them ritting for another decade!

  17. very unhappy because no option to have shares transfered without selling. contacted FSA & ombudsmen they were very helpful & are looking into it on my behalf.

  18. I too phoned Fidelity and got no joy apparently they own the share cerfificate not me. The FSA were of little use wonder why we pay for them!
    Am going to contact Fidelity again and ask for a copy of their document that says I will never own the shares.

  19. Please keep us informed of progress with FSA. You are not alone!

  20. have just posted my own comments supporting “anonymous” 24/8 Aviva share comments. Having provided my e mail add. don’t want any feedback other than your own or your associates feedback/guidance. Thanks

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