Surrendering of endowments increases pace

The website, which was set up to facilitate the sales of endowment polices for consumers and IFAs, reportedly generated four times as many online enquiries in the last six months of 2001 as for the same period of 2000. This suggests an enhanced awareness of endowment shortfalls and problems, although it appears to confirm that there are still many policies in place that will not meet their target.

Matthew Roche, marketing manager of Surrenda-Link, said: "The level of enquiries we have received via our website has increased dramatically since its re-launch. We have recorded over 2,400 individual user sessions in any one day. Clearly consumers have become more aware of the option to sell endowment policies and will become even more so if the FSA’s consultation paper CP106, is adopted. Adoption of CP106 will ensure all life offices inform policyholders of their option to sell a policy. Therefore we would expect more people to turn to the internet as a source of information on the subject.

"By using the Internet, consumers and IFA’s have the information at their fingertips and may receive a valuation that is 30 per cent more than the surrender value quoted by the life office. Many people obviously consider the 20 minutes spent on our website well spent."