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REVIEW SUMMARY

Hansard International Vantage Platinum II

Hansard International has been providing financial products and services to international clients since 1987 from their base on the Isle of Man. 

Hansard International forms part of Hansard Global plc, which has been listed on the London Stock Exchange since 2006. 

They claim to have USD 1 billion of assets under administration and provide servicing for tens of thousands of international clients.

Hansard International Limited is regulated and supervised by both the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority (IoM FSA) and the Labuan FSA (LFSA).

Overview
FAQ
Customer Reviews
Expert Verdict

Vantage Platinum II is a unit-linked, regular contribution insurance contract with a fixed term, selected at outset, of between 5 and 35 whole years.

Additional lump sum contributions are also permitted.

The aim of the contract is to benefit from the potential medium to long-term increase of the value of your savings by investing the contributions you make over the contract term into the Hansard International series 2 unit funds (Hansard unit funds) – a range of unit-linked investments that are created, priced and administered by Hansard International.

Vantage Platinum II is intended for high-net-worth Malaysia-resident clients who wish to save regularly (for at least five years). 

The contract owner (or oldest if there are two) must be at least 18 years old and less than 65 years old on the contract start date, and must be 75 or younger at maturity.

The contract is designed for all regular contributions to be paid at the selected level for the whole term, so you should only commit to a regular contribution level that can be maintained for the full contract term.

Regular contributions may be made either monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or yearly. Minimum contributions apply depending on the chosen frequency and contract currency as shown below:

 

GBP

USD EUR
Monthly 200 300 275
Quarterly 600 900 825
Half-yearly 1,200 1,800 1,650
Yearly 2,400 3,600 3,300


Regular contributions can be made by credit card or bank instruction letter, or by direct debit for GBP payments from a UK bank account. Additional lump sum contributions may be made by bank transfer.

Features of Hansard International's Vantage Platinum II:

  • Vantage Platinum II may be held by one or two contract owners. Unless otherwise instructed, they will act upon instructions from either contract holder.
  • This is a life assurance contract which must have at least one life assured and may have a second. These cannot be changed once your contract has started. The life assured (or oldest if there are two) must be at least 18 years old and less than 65 years old on the contract start date, and must be 75 or younger at maturity.
  • The death benefit will become payable when the life assured dies (or if there are two lives assured, when the first of these dies) and at this point the contract will end.
  • The standard death benefit sum assured is 101% of the contract value, but you may also have the option to add an additional guaranteed sum assured
    which increases the death benefit to be a specific amount.
  • For residents of Malaysia the minimum savings amount permitted is MYR 15,000 per year for regular contributions, or MYR 20,000 for lump-sum contributions. Due to exchange rate fluctuations, contributions paid may vary against these levels.
  • The contract is available in GBP, USD or EUR, and this will determine the currency of contributions and of valuations. Where contributions are made in a different currency to the contract currency, the amount will be converted using the applicable exchange rate.

Let's have a brief look at some of the Vantage Platinum II charges as stated by Hansard International:

  1. Annual management charge: The annual management charge is based on the fund value and is charged for the full term of the contract. The
    charge is applied daily, to all unit types as shown below, and is reflected in the quoted Hansard unit fund price:

    Initial units 1.5% per year Units purchased by the welcome bonus, or by any part of a regular contribution due during the initial period
    Accumulator units 1.5% per year Units purchased by any part of a regular contribution due after the initial period, or by additional lump-sum contributions
    Bonus units 1.5% per year Units allocated by the loyalty bonus
  2. Initial unit charge: There is an additional charge applied to all initial units, based on the fund value, and is charged for the full term of the contract. The charge is applied daily and is reflected in the quoted Hansard unit fund price:

    Initial units 5.5% per year Units purchased by the welcome bonus, or by any part of a regular contribution due during the initial period
  3. Service charge: GBP 60 per year (GBP 5 per month) and GBP 120 per year (GBP 10 per month) for paid-up regular contribution contracts. The service charge is taken on a monthly basis from your accumulator units. If there are not enough accumulator units to deduct the charge then it will be carried forward to the next month.

  4. Early surrender charge: The charge applied is equivalent to the initial unit annual management charge and the initial unit charge remaining for the number of days between the surrender date and the maturity date. The charges can be summarised below:

    Time remaining (years)

    Early surrender charge
    25 82.63%
    20 75.34%
    15 65.01%
    10 50.34%
    5 29.53%
  5. Fund administration costs: A fund administration charge of no greater than 0.25% per year, plus any associated dealing costs, and these will be reviewed each year.

  6. Switching charge: If you request a manually-processed switch, this will be charged at GBP 45 per switch, deducted from your accumulator units. Switching is performed on a bid-price to bid-price basis, which means that there is no extra cost applied during the sale and purchase of Hansard unit funds. You cannot switch units between separate contracts.

These charges can change from time to time and we would recommend checking Hansard International's website for the latest information.

Withdrawals:

  • For regular contribution contracts, withdrawals are only permitted after you have made all contributions due in the first two contract years, or the second anniversary if this is later.
  • For additional lump sum contribution contracts, withdrawals may be taken at any time. Withdrawals may only be taken from accumulator units, not from initial units or bonus units, and are subject to you maintaining the minimum accumulator unit value.
  • The minimum withdrawal amount is GBP 150 (or currency equivalent). Hansard does not apply a charge for taking a withdrawal from your contract, but bank transfer costs may apply. If you have selected an additional guaranteed sum assured then this will be reduced by your withdrawal amount.

NOTE:

  • The value of the plan would depend on the investment performance and you may not get back the money you have invested.
  • We would highly recommend reading the 'expert verdict' section of this review to learn why our experts gave the Vantage Platinum II 1 out of 5 stars in this independent review.

 

 

The Pros

> Size and administrative capability
> Superficially highly attractive
> Potential for better than bank rate return if all contributions are made throughout the term
> Lack of flexibility may encourage discipline of saving

The Cons

> Does not provide full access to lowest cost funds
> Opaque and complex charging structure
> Expensive way to invest
> Easily mis-represented at the point of sale
> Commission wipes out all initial investments made making this an extremely expensive option
What are the currency conversion costs of the Vantage Platinum II?

There is a foreign currency conversion cost whenever a transaction is performed across different currencies, for example where you make a contribution in a different currency to the contract currency, or where you request
a switch between Hansard unit funds that are denominated in different currencies.

Details of the rates used are available on request from Hansard International.

What happens if I take out my money early from Vantage Platinum II?

Vantage Platinum II is designed for all regular contributions to be paid at the selected level for the whole term.

It is important to note that if you stop or reduce the contractual regular contribution amount you have agreed to, or if you take withdrawals, or if you surrender your contract before maturity, then this could result in you getting back less than any illustrated values and possibly less than the total amount you have contributed.

Can I cancel the plan once it has started?

If you change your mind once your new contract starts, there is a cancellation period during which time you may cancel the contract without penalty.

This also applies to additional contribution contracts for additional lump-sum contributions and increased regular contributions.

When they issue the documents for your new contract, they will send you details of how to cancel your contract, and you will have 30 calendar days from receiving these documents to request this.

You may also cancel before you receive your contract documents by contacting Hansard International or your independent financial advisor.

If you do decide to cancel, they will give you your money back, unless the value of the Hansard unit funds you have invested in has fallen, in which case you will get back the Hansard unit fund available at that time which may not be the full amount you paid in.

However, no contract charges or penalties will be deducted, and any welcome bonus will be removed.

What are mirror funds?

A mirror fund is a type of mutual fund, typically run by a life insurance company, that enables an investor to access another company's mutual fund through their insurance policies.

These types of funds usually involve extra fees and charges.

Is there any bonus given by Hansard?

Your regular contribution contract may qualify for a welcome bonus, depending on your contribution amount and contract term.

These same qualifying levels also apply to additional contribution contracts relating to regular contribution increases.

To qualify for the welcome bonus your contract term must be 10 years or more, with a minimum regular contribution amount as set out in the following table:

  GBP USD EUR
Monthly 325 500 450
Quarterly 975 1,500 1,350
Half-yearly 1,950 3,000 2,700
Yearly 6,000 6,000 5,400


The welcome bonus is calculated as a percentage of your first regular contribution that is allocated, multiplied by your contract term, subject to a maximum term of 25 years.

NOTE: If your regular contributions are not maintained at the original level for five years, or if you surrender your contract during the first five years, then the units relating to the welcome bonus will be forfeited.

Lost money instead of making more

I signed up thinking I was saving for the long-term…I didn't want to go home with nothing to show from my time in Dubai and I know myself well enough which is why I agreed to save for the long-term.

When my contract was up I didn't want to stay and wanted my money - I was told it was worth way less than on my statement. Total ripoff!

Expert assessment of Hansard International Vantage Platinum II

Substantially more cost effective, flexible and less complex options are now available for senior international professionals.

If you already hold a Hansard Vantage Platinum II savings plan and it is worth £250,000 or more, we strongly recommend you seek a Second Opinion to ensure you are on track to get and keep the life you want.

Hansard International Vantage Platinum II - Regular Contribution Contract

Hansard International Vantage Platinum II - Contract Terms and Conditions

Hansard International Vantage Platinum II - Prospectus

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