Access Accounts update
Due to the impact of Coronavirus the Access Accounts are no longer operating in 'Normal Market Conditions’. As a result, withdrawals from these accounts are operating slower than usual.
You can view our letter to investors regarding the Access Accounts by clicking here or you can view our frequently asked questions below.
We will continue to update and add to these FAQs as the situation develops. So please check back here in the first instance if you have any questions.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Access Accounts in the Current Market Conditions:
(Last updated 15:30pm 22/03/21)
Why are the Access Accounts no longer in ‘Normal Market Conditions’ and what changes have been made to them as a result? (Updated: 12/08/20)
The impact of Coronavirus on financial markets and a significant change in investor behaviour has meant that the Access Accounts are presently unable to achieve the same high levels of liquidity they have enjoyed before this pandemic.
We have seen heightened investor withdrawal requests, therefore we needed to make changes to the operation of the Access Accounts for this temporary period.
An Access Account withdrawal system is operating to allow withdrawals to continue in a fair and timely way, albeit more slowly than investors have been used to due to market factors. Following the temporary stop (to what was previously an instant withdrawal process) when Normal Market Conditions ended as a result of Coronavirus, inbound new investor cash, in combination with Access Account cash balances, was no longer sufficient to instantly satisfy withdrawal requests.
In response to the delay to withdrawals, we have implemented a new Access Account Marketplace to give investors greater control over the liquidity of their invested funds.
By creating the Access Account Marketplace, we will continue to automatically connect those lenders looking to withdraw their funds with those looking to invest, with a new option to apply a discount when selling your loan holdings from the Quick Access Account, should you wish to do so, which could help to speed up the withdrawal process (providing there is demand from other investors).
For more information on how the marketplace works, click here.
It's important to understand that there is no requirement to apply a discount to your Withdrawal Instruction. Withdrawals set at par value (0% discount) will be partly serviced by new investment arriving in the Access Accounts (AAs) at par value and partly by cash received upon repayment of loan capital by a borrower. Currently, as funds become available for withdrawal from the Access Accounts, these are allocated to an investor's withdrawal request on a pro-rata basis directly related to each investor's total investment in that loan with the relevant AA that they are withdrawing from, not the size of their withdrawal request.
This change to pro-rata payments was made in line with section 21 of our Terms & Conditions which allows us to make changes if we reasonably believe them to be in the interests of the Lending Members, which we do here in the context of our Lending Members as a whole. Given the rapid onset of the current national and global crisis, it simply was not possible to provide 30 days of notice.
Please note: The processes for withdrawals from your Cash Account and investment in the Manual Lending Account continue as normal.
What are ‘Normal Market Conditions’?
We define ‘Normal Market Conditions’ on the Key Account Information for the Access Accounts - https://www.assetzcapital.co.uk/invest/our-accounts/quick-access-account/key-account-information.
The impact of Coronavirus has created a situation where ‘Normal Market Conditions’ are no longer in effect, at least for the time being.
When did ‘Normal Market Conditions’ end?
The financial markets had particularly excessive volatility on Thursday 12th March 2020 as a result of the global impact of Coronavirus. In addition, our analysis of the Access Accounts’ behaviour confirmed that ‘Normal Market Conditions’ had ended suddenly on Thursday 12th March 2020, in line with most financial markets seeing extreme activity around that time, and so the withdrawal system operation for Access Accounts did not operate that day and will not operate in the original way until further notice. We will continue to regularly review this situation and keep our investors updated.
When can I request a withdrawal from the Access Accounts? (Updated: 12/08/20)
A Withdrawal Instruction on funds 'directly' invested in the QAA will also place you immediately in the queue at the time you request it. You can also give notice on the 30DAA and the 90DAA as normal right now and as those notice periods expire, a Withdrawal Instruction at par value will automatically be created. You also have the option to transfer your funds to the Quick Access Account. Here you will be able to create a new Withdrawal Instruction, with the option to apply a discount if desired.
For more information on how the marketplace works, click here.
Will withdrawals from my Cash Account be processed as usual?
Any normal withdrawal requests for cash that were not monies held in the Access Accounts in any way will continue to be processed as normal.
What is the speed of withdrawal likely to be? (Updated: 16/02/21)
Unfortunately, we are unable to provide meaningful forecasts on the speed of withdrawals. However, we are pleased to announce we are now in a position to increase the speed of withdrawals from the Access Accounts.
As an investor in the Access Accounts, you are invested across hundreds of property-secured loans, many of which are development finance. This type of funding is released in stages (or tranches) based upon the progress of the development. The Access Accounts (AAs) have always aimed to hold a proportion of cash to meet the liquidity needs of those investors wishing to make withdrawals and to also facilitate the drawdown of new loans.
In January 2021, we completed our regular review of the AAs future funding requirements and are now in a position to release greater sums from the AA cash pools back to investors over the coming months.
We have recently made two significant cash distributions to the withdrawal queue. When combined these distributions have reduced all eligible withdrawal requests by approximately 30%, with investors receiving funds on a pro-rata basis of total AA holdings.
Whilst we haven't yet achieved the levels of liquidity that we enjoyed before the pandemic, we are moving firmly towards normalising the AAs.
We have also introduced the Access Account Marketplace - a new way for our platform to better absorb more difficult market conditions such as these, and to try to help speed up current withdrawal requests for those who wish to offer a discount.
Whilst this new
functionality will bring an active marketplace that is better suited to more
difficult market conditions, unfortunately, we're not able to predict how long
sales at a particular discount will take. Like any marketplace, it will depend
on the relative balance of investor demand and supply by investing and
Why can’t I just have my cash back by selling my investments immediately as I used to do? (Updated: 12/08/20)
There is not presently an excess level of inbound deposits versus withdrawals to permit the rapid withdrawals that we have historically delivered since the Access Accounts originally opened. This is due to these no longer being ‘Normal Market Conditions’, as we always highlighted could happen from time to time over the years at moments of market volatility and similar.
Future withdrawal speeds are highly dependent on a degree of balance being restored between withdrawal requests and funds becoming available to service them. Presently, the accounts that you are invested in will receive cash from several sources including from new 'at par' investments by other investors as well as loan interest, repayments and monthly amortisations from borrowers. All of these will contribute to queued withdrawal requests being fulfilled.
We ask that investors bear with us as we, and the country as a whole, look forward to a return to normal market conditions. Our priority remains the protection of capital value in your investments, and secondly the delivery of the interest due on those loans. The liquidity of withdrawals from the Access Accounts remains the third level priority as prioritising that would severely prejudice the former two priorities.
What happens to any 30DAA or 90DAA account withdrawal requests I had already submitted? (Updated: 12/08/20)
They will join the queue when the relevant notice period expires. Only funds invested in the Quick Access Account (QAA) can be traded at a discount on the marketplace. So, if you have funds that have served their notice period from the 30 Day or 90 Day Access Accounts and you want to take advantage of the discount facility, you'll need to move some or all of your funds into the QAA in order to offer loan holdings for sale at a discount.
If you already have a pending withdrawal request from the 30DAA or 90DAA that has served its notice period but would like to offer your holdings at a discount, you'll need to cancel those old par value withdrawal requests and direct your money to the QAA- you will earn the QAA rate of interest until any withdrawal is completed.
Will I still receive monthly target rate interest payments on investments held in the Access Accounts?
Interest receipts from loans held in the Access Accounts will still be applied to the payment of investor interest as usual, subject to the advertised target rate caps.
Please note that there is no way of predicting exactly how much interest will be paid by our borrowers in the coming weeks as they adjust to this new reality and grapple with the challenges.
However, we hold substantial sums in our borrower retention accounts. These retentions are for a variety of purposes but include being able to pay lender interest for a period, even if a borrower stops paying.
What interest rate will I receive on my 30DAA & 90DAA funds whilst they await release beyond the standard notice periods? (Updated: 12/08/20)
Target interest rates remain capped at the currently advertised rate of the account you are seeking to withdraw from.
How does the ‘Invest Idle Funds’ function now work?
We have made the decision to temporarily remove the ‘Invest Idle Funds’ function at this time. Whilst withdrawals from the Access Accounts have resumed and moved to a queuing system, we feel that temporarily pausing this function will simplify our lenders’ experience whilst we are no longer in ‘Normal Market Conditions’.
This also prevents a situation where money returning to a lender’s account may be swept into the Access Accounts at a time when withdrawals are operating more slowly than usual, if that lender had not switched off ‘Invest Idle Funds’
Do capital repayments in full, or part, or where a loan has regular repayments of capital, contribute to withdrawal requests from the Access Accounts? (Updated: 16/02/21)
Yes, they do contribute to withdrawal requests along with new investment and reinvestment of interest. As described in an earlier question on withdrawal speeds, following our regular review of future funding requirements in the AAs, we are now able to distribute greater sums from capital repayments and from January 2021, investors will see a marked improvement on their withdrawal speeds.
Will the Access Accounts be funding new loans during this time? (Updated: 22/03/21)
With the reduction in the size of the withdrawal queue and the ability to cover remaining tranches of existing development loans within the Access Accounts portfolio, we now feel that that Access Accounts can begin to look to the future and start lending again shortly. We expect to draw our first loan which is destined to be added to the Access Accounts towards the end of April or early in May and we also have many more loan opportunities in the months ahead.
A small number of Access Account investors have told us that they do not wish to participate in new lending. Due to the way in which automatic diversification works, it’s not possible to stop those investors from being diversified into new loans as and when they are added, without preventing the Access Accounts as a whole from returning to new lending. We have listened carefully to these investors. Whilst we do not want the wishes of a small minority to prevent the Access Accounts as a whole from returning to new lending, we do want to accommodate them and address their needs as best we can. For this reason, we have developed what we are referring to as an “Exit Account”. More information on the Exit Account will follow in the coming days but, in summary, it is a means for someone who does not wish to remain in the Access Accounts and participate in new lending to exit with their loan holdings into an individual account which has the same broad characteristics except no new lending and no diversification. Investors will be able to choose whether to remain with the Access Accounts as the accounts return to their normal state of operation in terms of new lending, or to move to an Exit Account if that is their preference. Full information will be available in due course, allowing for a fully informed choice.
- March 13, 2020