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COVID-19 FAQs

Avoid pensions scams. Don’t let a scammer enjoy your retirement. Be ScamSmart and visit our ‘Being Aware to Pensions Scams or go to fca.org.uk/scamsmart to find out more. If you suspect a scam, report it to Action Fraud – the UK’s national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre

We are here to help all our customers

During this difficult time, we are here to support all those who have entrusted their investments to Advance by Embark, including those like you who have previously received professional advice, especially where advisers have made use of our investment platform to invest on your behalf.

You may understandably be anxious or concerned about your investments during the pandemic, and it is our role and duty to help you.  First and foremost, we would recommend that you consult with a financial adviser registered and approved by the Financial Conduct Authority to discuss the options available to you.

Most clients with an Advance Portfolio have appointed an adviser to administer their Portfolio on their behalf. If you no longer have an appointed adviser, you should continue reading.

To help answer some of your questions that you may have at this time, we have put together the following information. We hope this is useful.

Yes. Thanks to a massive team effort by teams across the Advance business in the UK, we have been able to stay very much open for business as the pandemic has hit the UK. With our business continuity plans now fully activated, most of our staff are working seamlessly from home using the right technology and continuing to ably perform their various roles for the ultimate benefit of the people whose investments are entrusted to Advance by Embark.

Our technical and operational colleagues have pulled out all the stops in successfully testing key essential services, from our claims and underwriting systems to our investment platform and operational support services, and we are confident that we have the right arrangements in place for the foreseeable future, uncertain as we currently all are regarding how long this difficult period will last.

If you wish to top-up your investments, access your Account or make changes to your Advance Portfolio, you can call us on 0345 607 2013. Our opening hours are 8am to 6.30pm, Monday to Friday and 9.30am to 12.30pm on Saturday.

Yes. You can call us on 0345 607 2013 to discuss your individual requirements. If you have a professional adviser, you should discuss this with them.

At this particular time, we are recommending that cheques should be avoided and payments to us should be made electronically via online bank transfer (more about this below.) We are making this recommendation in recognition of the fact that postal services within the UK may not be operating at normal speed, and the secure banking services that are available will ensure the timely transfer of funds.

Yes, you can call us on 0345 607 2013 to discuss your individual requirements. If you have a professional adviser, you should discuss this with them.

We will look to minimise the amount of post required and will discuss suitable digital solutions with you and how best to provide us with the relevant information.

Yes. Although you do not have an adviser, you can continue to make changes to your investments. We will look to minimise the amount of post required and will discuss suitable digital solutions with you and how best to provide us with the relevant information.

Please contact us on 0345 607 2013 to discuss your requirements.

It is important to note that Advance staff are not authorised to provide financial advice. If you have concerns about your investments, you should seek professional financial advice.

Yes. We understand that some investors are re-prioritising their outgoings owing to the uncertainty of the present crisis, and even considering cancelling their regular contributions via Direct Debit. There is no additional cost for changing the level of contributions you are currently paying, to suit your preferences.

Please contact us on 0345 607 2013 to discuss your requirements.

It is important to remember that Advance staff are not authorised to provide financial advice. If you have concerns about your investments, you should seek professional financial advice.

Yes, however at this particular time we are recommending that cheques should be avoided and payments to us should be made electronically. We are making this recommendation in recognition of the fact that postal services within the UK may not be operating at normal speed and the secure banking services that are available ensure the timely transfer of funds.

Online banking payments should be made to the following account:

Account number: 31324264

Sort code:16-04-00

Bank: The Royal Bank of Scotland PLC, PO Box 39952, London, EC2M 4XJ

Account name: Sterling ISA Managers Ltd

Advance by Embark and its staff are not authorised to provide financial advice. If you have concerns about your investments, you should seek professional financial advice.

If you don’t currently have a financial adviser, you can find one near you by visiting www.unbiased.co.uk and you can read reviews of financial advisers by visiting www.vouchedfor.co.uk

If you are aged 50 or over and you wish help with your pension, you can visit the Pension Wise website: www.pensionwise.gov.uk

All our existing anti-fraud measures remain in place and all of us at Advance by Embark continue to follow specific protocols to securely access our systems. It is important that we all (our staff, advisers and investors) remain ultra-vigilant and aware of any threat from ‘phishing’ emails and other scams. Sad to say, the financial services sector is witnessing an increasing amount of attempted fraud via emails, texts and phone calls during the pandemic. If in doubt, don’t click any links in emails, delete suspicious texts, hang up and block unwanted phone calls – and most importantly, assume that any offer that is “too good to be true” is most likely to be a fake or criminal fraud.

We will update these questions and answers when new information becomes available and as the current situation changes. All the best to you and your family.