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Our policy for scanned documents during the coronavirus outbreak

26 Mar 2020

As we’re not in the office due to coronavirus, and financial advisers are working remotely too, we’ve made some temporary changes to our policy for scanned applications and supporting documents that we hope will be helpful.

The main point to make is that your first port of call should be online applications. These are available for most Octopus products. Your business development manager can help you with any queries about online applications.

Where online applications aren’t possible, we’re able to accept signed and scanned applications in certain circumstances. 

Where and how to send scanned applications

Scanned and signed applications should be sent to applications@octopusinvestments.com.

Please make sure applications are in PDF format with the filename format ‘productfirstnamesurname.pdf’ (insert product and client name).

If you need support converting a scanned document into a PDF, your business development manager will be happy to help.

What to expect

We’ll need to call you for every withdrawal and drawdown instruction before we process them. We’ll call your client to confirm an instruction if they’ve sent it to us, or you (the adviser) if you’ve passed on your client’s instruction.

This is because there is heightened risk of email-based impersonation fraud in the current environment, and we’re taking all reasonable precautions.  We appreciate that this may mean withdrawals take a little longer.

For applicants who are individuals, we will attempt to verify identity and address through electronic checks.  If these checks fail, we will ask for supporting documents to complete verification. In the majority of cases, we will accept scanned versions of these supporting documents by email.

For non-individual applicants, such as trusts, we may require additional documents upfront (for example, trust deeds).  We will accept scanned copies of these by email in most cases.

In the small proportion of cases where we require hard-copy documents to complete our checks, we will let you know as soon as possible. We will often be able to identify this need in our discussions with you before an application is submitted.

What we can accept in scanned form

We explain below the situations in which we will accept scanned documents. For more information, your business development manager will be able to help.

Withdrawals

We can accept the following:

  • A scanned copy of a signed instruction or liquidation form completed by the client, sent to Octopus by email as an attachment.
  • A request in the body of an email sent from a client’s email address where we have that email address on file (this would include a forwarded email).

Deceased withdrawals

We can accept the following:

  • A scanned copy of a liquidation form signed by all executors of the estate sent to Octopus by email as an attachment.
  • Inheritance tax forms.

Drawdown requests

We can accept the following:

  • A scanned copy of a signed instruction sent to Octopus by email as an attachment.
  • A request in the body of an email sent from a client’s email address where we have that email address on file (this would include a forwarded email).

Deceased notifications

We can accept the following:

  • A scanned copy of death certificate (there is no need for this to be certified).

Transfers

We can accept the following:

  • A scanned and signed copy of a client’s instruction to transfer sent to Octopus by email as an attachment.
  • A scanned copy of a completed application form, signed by both the client and adviser.

Deceased transfers

We can accept the following:

  • A scanned copy of the transfer form completed by all executors of the estate, sent to Octopus by email as an attachment.
  • A scanned copy of the application form, signed by the client and adviser.

Power of attorney

Powers of Attorney (PoAs) have particular legal requirements which must be met in order for instructions made under them to be valid. This applies to copies too. 

When we receive a scanned copy of a PoA (which should have wet-ink certification on every page), we will make additional checks with the Office of the Public Guardian.  You will not need to do anything further to facilitate these checks, but please be aware that this step will add to our processing time, typically by a few working days.

If the application is for a venture capital trust, we require original certified copies of POAs. Clients should send PoA documents direct to Computershare at The Pavilions, Bridgwater Rd, Bristol BS99 6ZZ in the first instance, as this will save us having to send them on.

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