FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

We frequently review our products to ensure you are benefitting from our latest technology, which offers many features you and your adviser would expect from a cutting-edge digital wealth platform.

Your ISAs, Investment Accounts and Retirement Accounts will be moved into the equivalent Scottish Widows accounts. If you have a Cash Account it will be moved into a separate Scottish Widows General Investment Account and labelled as ‘Cash’.

We will update this site with all details regarding the move nearer the time. Until the move you can use your Advance Portfolio as normal.

We will move your Account if you choose to remain with Scottish Widows. However, if you decide that the Account is no longer right for you then you have the option to transfer out to another provider. We will not charge you for this. You should discuss this with your financial adviser. Also please remember that selling your funds and withdrawing the cash could have tax implications so you should seek advice if you are unsure.

Yes there will be a trading and a transfer blackout period prior to the move. Please see the Service Information page for further information. We will update with the dates for these blackouts nearer the time of the move.

Embark Group became part of the Lloyds Banking Group in 2022 and Lloyds decided to change the name of the Embark Platform to Scottish Widows Platform, it is the same technology just rebranded to use the well know name of Scottish Widows, which is also a part of Lloyds.

Please visit the microsite homepage, where we will regularly update the latest information relating to the move.

ACCESSING THE PLATFORM

Yes, these will be sent to you shortly after the move as long as we hold a valid email address for you.

We’d highly recommend setting up an email address and registering it with us. We are a fully digital platform.

As long as you have provided us with your email address we will send you login details following the move to enable you to login to the platform.

You will be able to access all of the documents we send you and get up to date valuations. If you do not have an adviser, or your adviser permissions you to do this you can switch investments, change your details and lots more.

Whilst the Scottish Widows Platform is a digital platform we will not charge you for paper statements if you have requested them.

The Scottish Widows Platform is able to be accessed by most major browsers and devices.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN YOUR EXISTING AND NEW PLATFORM

Yes, historic documents and details of previous transactions will be available.

We will manage the move on your behalf so that it’s as easy as possible for you and your adviser.

Regular investing
If you have regular investing instructions in place, we will move these across for you. Your Direct Debit will continue being collected as before.

Making regular withdrawals
Any regular withdrawal instructions you have in place will also be moved over for you.

Managing your investment income
If you have provided us with an instruction to pay investment income on a monthly basis this will be moved across to the Scottish Widows Platform. There is greater flexibility on the Scottish Widows Platform in relation to taking investment income so you may want to review your selection, with your adviser, after the move.

The Scottish Widows Platform is designed to be an online service. Copies of new documents will be posted to your online document store and an email sent to you to notify that a new document is available. Paper statements will still be available but the online document store will provide the best experience, making documents available to you as soon as they are produced.

Yes, other than in a very few exceptional cases. We will notify your financial adviser if we are either unable to move any of your current investments, or you have an investment that we can move but you won’t be able to add to in the future.

Yes, we are in the process of ensuring that all Discretionary Investment Managers sign up to the Scottish Widows Platform and, providing they do, then your model portfolio will be moved to the Scottish Widows Platform.

Your assets will still be moved to the Scottish Widows Platform but they will not be held within the structure of the model portfolio. If this is the case we strongly suggest that you speak to your adviser for advice on your investments.

A new charge schedule has been agreed with the Openwork Partnership, to benefit their clients. You can view our Charges Guide here.

It is worth noting that yearly charge will apply to the whole account value, including any cash held. The Scottish Widows Platform, like the Advance by Embark Platform is for wealth management so we would expect any cash held to be transient and not as a long term investment. The impact of this should therefore be minimal. Please take this time to review any significant cash holdings.

A final deduction of the pension charge will be taken on Advance before the move. This will be for the period since the last deduction up to the move.

Cash can be held in your new Account, and your charges will be taken on a monthly basis from the Available Cash within your Account.  If there is no Available Cash, our disinvestment policy will be applied to sell down some assets in order to pay the charges.  You can read more about our disinvestment policy in our Terms and Conditions.

Charges will be accrued daily and deducted monthly from the cash held in your Account. It is important that you and your adviser ensure that there is enough cash to cover the charges.

All payments are made to your registered bank account. Where there is a bank account detailed on your Account we will transfer this across to the Scottish Widows Platform.

Yes, other than in a very few exceptional cases. We will notify your financial adviser if we are either unable to move any of your current investments, or you have an investment that we can move but you won’t be able to add to in the future.

The rebalance date for your Model Portfolio(s) is likely to change, but the frequency of the rebalance will remain the same after the first rebalance on Scottish Widows Platform. Please note that the Graphene Model range will auto-rebalance half-yearly on 19th May and 19th November each year. If the 19th is not a business day then trades will be actioned on the following business day.”

Scottish Widows Platform will collect Direct Debits in the same way and on the same date as the Advance by Embark Platform.  However, there may be some changes to Direct Debits collected around the time of the move. Please view our Service information prior to the move page for further information.

Scottish Widows Platform will make regular pension payments in the same way and on the same date as the Advance by Embark Platform.  However, there may be some changes to pension payments around the time of the move. Please view our Service information prior to the move page for further information.

Scottish Widows Platform will make regular withdrawals in the same way and on the same date as the Advance by Embark Platform.  However, there may be some changes to regular withdrawals around the time of the move. Please view our Service information prior to the move page for further information.

If your preference is for paper communications you will receive letters and if it is for electronic communications, you will receive emails. During the migration communications we have discovered that a number of client email addresses have gone out of date, we have updated these clients to receive paper communications from us.

The account will still migrate to Scottish Widows Platform and the Scottish Widows Platform team will work with the Executors to settle the claim.  There is a change in process though and without a letter of authority from the Executors appointing you as their adviser, you will no longer be able to see the account. All remuneration is switched off on notification of a death on Scottish Widows Platform.

You may see some changes when the deductions are made from your accounts. This will be more noticeable if you are paid more frequently than monthly. The deductions from each header account will all take place on the same day (based on the date money is first matched in the header account). This makes it much easier to plan around deductions from the account as ongoing platform charges, the pension charge and adviser remuneration are all deducted at the same time. In the Advance Platform each sub account has its own deduction day.  This may mean however that some deductions in the first few weeks move about, some will be deducted earlier (less than a month since the previous deduction) and some will be deducted later. After the first month things will be back to normal.

Yes, the existing policies will remain in force until the term ends. Scottish Widows Platform will make arrangements with Zurich to settle any claims in the event of your death.

All individual and joint accounts opened in the last 12 months qualify for Accidental Death Benefit on the death of the first account holder.

For customers that selected Zurich Investment Life Cover, this stays in force for 5 years from the original opening of your Advance Portfolio.

The T&Cs and Key Features Documents for both products can be viewed in the Client Literature Library here.

FUNCTIONALITY ON YOUR NEW PLATFORM

After the move, your adviser will be able to open new Accounts for you on the Scottish Widows Platform.

Yes, after the move, your adviser will be able to arrange to transfer any existing ISAs, GIAs or Pensions you have with other providers to the Scottish Widows Platform if they advise you to do so. We can accept cash or in specie transfers.

Your Account(s) on the Scottish Widows Platform will continue to be managed by your financial adviser. They may sometimes give you specific “self-serve” access to your Account(s) on the platform. Please contact your adviser in the first instance for further information. If you do not have an adviser, visit unbiased.co.uk to find a local adviser who suits your savings and investment needs.

SUPPORT FOR YOU

Our priority remains to focus on delivering excellent customer service. Your adviser is there to support you and should be able to help. You can find important documents and more about the Scottish Widows Platform and what it has to offer you and your financial adviser on our Key Documents page. Alternatively, please contact us on 0345 607 2013 or by emailing enquiries@embarkadvance.co.uk.

Yes, you can find our new contact details here.

The Scottish Widows Platform is designed to be an online service so you can login and make changes to your Account. If we do not have the correct details currently for you then please contact us on 0345 607 2013 or by emailing enquiries@embarkadvance.co.uk to update the details for your Account and ensure you continue to receive updates from us.

Yes, you can continue to use your Account as normal until nearer to the move. We will update you on the date for the move nearer the time and also important information to be aware of regarding the move. Once your Account has moved you can also continue to make investments into your Account.

You can find out more by visiting our website.

If your Account is currently managed by a financial adviser, they are there to support you and we always recommend you contact them in the first instance with any questions you may have. If you do need to contact the Scottish Widows Platform after the move though, we will be happy to help. Just visit our contact us page for more information.

Please contact your adviser in the first instance.

Please contact your adviser in the first instance.

We will be happy to confirm this is not a scam and go through any questions you may have. Please contact your adviser in the first instance or contact us on 0345 607 2013 or email us at enquiries@embarkadvance.co.uk for further help.

If you have any problem receiving or reading digital communications such as email or on-screen literature, please let your adviser or us know.

You can access our complaints procedure here.

Please contact your adviser in the first instance.

Each person with an Account is sent an individual update letter.

Yes a copy can be found on our website here.

Although you may have provided us with an instruction to close your Account with us we have to keep your Account open for a number of months to receive any dividends or distributions that may be due to you. As we are upgrading our technology all your data will be passed to the Scottish Widows Platform even if your Account is closed, so it is important that we keep you informed.