Octopus Choice
Reading time: 3 mins

Coronavirus and Octopus Choice

4:38pm 19 Mar 2020 - Written by Simon Rogerson, CEO of Octopus Group

We are pausing Octopus Choice

We have taken the difficult decision to pause Octopus Choice. This means that, for the time being, we will not be accepting new investments or processing withdrawals.  

Why have we made this decision?

Why have we made this decision? 

We have stopped all trading on the Choice platform. This means that for now, no new investments will be made into loans and no withdrawals will be executed until the pause is lifted. In the meantime, we are working as hard as we can to resume liquidity, which would enable us to start processing withdrawals again.   

The unprecedented volatility in financial markets over the last two weeks has led to many fund management companies and peer to peer lenders suspending transactions in their property funds, primarily due to the inability to value their funds accurately. 

This is not the case with Octopus Choice. The issue we are facing is one of liquidity – the extreme market environment is causing a large number of investors to try to sell down or liquidate their investments. To protect the best interests of clients, we have decided to cease all transactions.

What about existing investments?

What about existing investments? 

Existing investments in Octopus Choice will continue to be paid interest from loans serviced by our borrowers. In the event that any loans are late with payments, we will provide regular updates on their status. Investors and advisers can see updates by logging into the Choice platform.  

The decision to pause investments and withdrawals does not affect the performance of the loans that are the underlying investments in Choice. Naturally we are working closely with borrowers to understand the impact of the current market on their ongoing interest payments. Although the current circumstances are challenging, we have always invested money into loans with risk mitigation in mind.

We will continue to review the status of the platform and will share updates of any changes right here on this section of the Octopus Investments website. 

What about money held on the platform in cash?

What about money held on the platform in cash?

For now, we will pause all investments and withdrawals. This means any money not currently invested in a loan will not be invested. For this reason, any money sent to us via bank transfer, cheques or direct debits after March 18th will be sent back to the respective investors within 10 business days. 

Can money that’s currently in cash be withdrawn? 

We will seek to execute these payments as quickly as we can. It will take a few days for the money to arrive in the nominated bank account. 

What about IFISA transfers that are currently in progress?

What about IFISA transfers that are currently in progress? 

If you have initiated an IFISA transfer into the Octopus Choice IFISA, which has not yet been received, then this money will be kept as cash on the platform. If you wish to transfer this to another ISA provider, then please contact us at [email protected] and we will facilitate this for you. 

How long will this pause last?

How long will this pause last? 

We do not expect this to be a permanent pause, however we do not currently have a time period planned. We will review the decision continuously as both the external environment and our work on providing liquidity develop. 

How to get in touch for more information? 

If you have any further questions, please get in touch with your financial adviser or a member of the Octopus Choice team by emailing [email protected]. Someone will get back to you as soon as they can. Please also check this webpage, where we will be frequently providing updates on the impact that coronavirus is having on our products.